An Ohio constitutional amendment in 1970 created lower property taxes for qualifying senior citizens.

To the Editor:

An Ohio constitutional amendment in 1970 created lower property taxes for qualifying senior citizens.

Initially, a sliding-income scale was part of the homestead exemption program for those age 65 and older.

In 2007, the income-cap provision was eliminated, enabling many more seniors to qualify. The homestead exemption, a credit on property tax bills, was then defined to exclude the first $25,000 of market valuation from all local property taxes.

However, beginning with the 2014 tax year, the legislature reinstated the income cap for new homestead exemption applicants. The $25,000 valuation exemption was maintained. Existing homestead qualifiers continue to receive the exemption and are not subject to the income cap. The homestead exemption, once granted, is portable, going with the individual, not the residence.

For the 2016 application year, which opened Jan. 4 and runs through June 6, the new applicant household income cap is $31,500.

Mistakenly, many believe that the homestead is dead, not understanding just that the rules have changed for new applicants.

For further details on the senior homestead exemption as well as the disabled veterans exemption qualifications, contact your county auditor. New applications must be filed by June 6. Visit franklincountyauditor.com or delawarecountyauditor.org.

Peg Duffy

Westerville