April 1 is the deadline for accepting applications for homestead exemption for tax year 2013.
Applications can be accepted year-round, but those received after April 1 will be applied to 2014 taxes. Those interested can file at either of the two offices of the tax commissioner: 11 North College St. in Pembroke or 66 Captain Matthew Freeman Drive in Richmond Hill.
The applicant for homestead exemption must own and occupy the home as of Jan. 1, 2013. It must be occupied as a permanent residence and place of abode and must be the legal residence of the applicant for all purposes. This exemption can be claimed on only one residence.
Once granted, the exemption is automatically renewed each year, and the taxpayer does not have to apply again unless there is a change of ownership or the taxpayer seeks to qualify for a different kind of exemption.
In Bryan County, there is a local exemption that supersedes the state exemptions:
• Local regular homestead exemption is available to homeowners who are not yet 65 years old and who otherwise qualify by ownership and residency requirements. It is a $2,000 exemption off the 40 percent assessed value on state and school taxes and $30,000 off the 40 percent assessed value on the county tax. The value of the property in excess of such exempted amounts shall remain subject to taxation.
• The local elderly exemption is for taxpayers who are at least 65 years old. The only requirements for this exemption are that the taxpayers must otherwise qualify by ownership and residency requirements and be at least 65 years old on Jan. 1 of this tax year. There are no income requirements. Proof of age via a copy of driver’s license or birth certificate is required. This is a $50,000 exemption off the 40 percent assessed value on the county and school taxes. The value of the property in excess of such exempted amounts shall remain subject to taxation.
There are other exemptions that may be available for taxpayers.
For more information, call the Pembroke office at 653-3880 or the Richmond Hill office at 756-2434.