County Corner: Exemption programs explained
Happy New Year, Mohave County.
I am certain many of you are happy to see 2020 in the rearview mirror.
Now that we made it through 2020, it’s time to start looking forward. I am here to discuss the programs the Assessor’s office has for you in 2021.
We are happy to announce that we still have our Widow/Widower’s/100% Disabled Exemption programs available starting Jan. 4. We also are continuing the Senior Property Valuation Protection Option (Senior Freeze) program which will also be available to apply for Jan. 4.
Both programs have qualifications. I am hoping you, or a family member, might qualify for these fantastic programs. Detailed information about all programs is below:
Widow/Widower’s/100% Disabled Program:
- Must be a current legal resident of Arizona.
-The total value of all property owned in Arizona may not exceed $27,970 (this can be as much as $279,700 Limited Property Value on residential property).
-Qualifying income to determine eligibility is subject to change each year. For the 2021 tax year, qualifying income may not exceed $34,301 per household, or $41,151 per household with minor children.
DEFINING YOUR QUALIFYING INCOME
It does included these types of income:
– Adjusted Gross Income from Arizona Income Tax Form 140
– Capital Gains not included in Adjusted Gross Income
– Non-taxable Strike Benefits
– Non-Taxable Interest from U.S. Government
– Retirement payments from any Arizona Government entity
– Retirement payments from U.S. Government
– Pension or Annuity payments not otherwise exempted
It does not include these types of income:
– Cash Public Assistance or Relief
– Railroad retirement benefit
– Social Security payments
– Arizona State Unemployment Insurance
– Veteran’s Disability Pensions
– Worker’s Compensation
– ‘Loss of Time’ Insurance
– Gifts from Non-governmental
– Surplus Food Relief
ARS 42-11111 provides for a current year exemption amount of $4,117 to be subtracted from the Assessed Limited Property Value of all qualified widowed and disabled persons. Tax savings can range from approximately $150 to $500 depending on the tax rate in your area.
The exemption for which you qualify will be applied first to your property. If there is any exemption amount remaining, it may be applied toward your current year vehicle license tax. Vehicle Exemption Certificates will be for one year only, and issued only after a copy of the vehicle registration renewal is provided.
ADDITIONAL QUALIFICATIONS FOR 2021 WIDOW’S/WIDOWER’S EXEMPTION:
– Must have been a resident of Arizona with spouse at the time of spouse’s death; or
– If spouse died while a resident of another state, the claimant must have established Arizona residency prior to Jan. 1, 1969.
– Must provide a copy of spouse’s death certificate with application.
ADDITIONAL QUALIFICATIONS FOR 2021 100% DISABLED PERSON’S EXEMPTION:
– Certification of 100% total and permanent disability signed by a licensed physician or psychiatrist must be submitted with your application. Signatures of nurse practitioners are not permitted and will not be accepted. The disability may be physical or mental, resulting in the person’s inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity.
– The “Certificate of Disability” form may be obtained from the Assessor’s office or visit our website at https://resources.mohavecounty.us/file/Assessor/FORMS_PROPERTY_2011_82514B-f.pdf
Senior Property Valuation Protection Option Program (Senior Freeze):
– At least one of the homeowners must be 65 years of age at the time the application is filed. A copy of proof of age must be submitted.
– The property must be the primary residence of the taxpayer. For purposes of this application “primary residence” is defined as the residence which is occupied by the taxpayer for an aggregate of nine months of the calendar year.
– The owner must have resided in the primary residence for at least two years prior to applying for the option.
– All owners’ combined total income from all sources, including non-taxable income, cannot exceed the specified amount in the amendment. This is $38,112 for a single owner and $47,640 for two or more owners.
– If exterior alterations/additions are made to your property after the freeze has been approved, the value of the new alteration/addition will be added to the frozen value.
If the owners meet all of these requirements and the application is approved, the limited property value of the primary residence will remain fixed for a three-year period. To remain eligible, the owner is required to renew the option during the last six months of the three-year period upon receipt of a notice of reapplication from the County Assessor. The freeze terminates and the property reverts to its current limited property value if the owner sells the home, neglects to reapply or otherwise becomes ineligible.
It is important to know that the valuation for the primary residence will be frozen as long as the owner remains eligible. Taxes will not be frozen.
It is a pleasure to have been reelected in November as your Mohave County Assessor for another four-year term. Thank you for your votes. We have been able to accomplish great things for our county thanks to my fantastic, friendly, hard-working staff.
(Jeanne Kentch is the Mohave County Assessor.)