March 28, 2022
(Tyeisha Kosmicki – NSN News)
Qualified Nebraska property owners can apply to receive a property tax exemption from either all or a percentage of their primary residence’s taxable value. For some, this aid prevents falling behind on property taxes which can be the determining factor between remaining homeowners or uprooting their lives in search of other housing options.
The application period, which began on February 2nd continues until June 30th. Douglas County Assessor Diane Battiato explained that while her office receives over 13,000 applications, many more may be missing out on this opportunity.
According to the informational brochure distributed by the office of Douglas County Assessor- Register of Deeds, to qualify for a homestead exemption the applicant must be owner of record, a purchaser under contract, have a life estate, or be a certain beneficiary of a trust for the home where he or she resides on or before January 1st of the application year.
Additionally, a person seeking property tax relief through the homestead exemption program must fall into one of the following categories:
People 65 years of age or older, prior to January 1st of the application year.
Qualified disabled individuals.
Qualified disabled Veterans or the widow(er) of a qualified disabled Veteran.
Individuals with a qualified developmental disability.
While some categories are subject to income limitations, a misconception is that exemptions are approved on an all-or-nothing basis. Battiato encourages people who fall into one of the categories to apply because the income limitation is a sliding scale, allowing those qualified to receive an exemption between 10 percent to 100 percent on their property taxes.
Income limitations and assessed property value maximums are adjusted annually.
The State of Nebraska reimburses counties and governmental subdivisions for uncollected property tax revenue lost as a result of the homestead exemptions.
More information on the Nebraska Homestead Exemption program, including forms, filing procedures, important deadlines and frequently asked questions can be found on both the Nebraska Department of Revenue and the Douglas County Assessor websites. -30-