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The property tax homestead classification affects the amount of property taxes that a taxpayer will pay in 2012, and it may also affect the taxpayer’s eligibility for a property tax refund. If one of the following conditions applies, a homestead application should be completed and submitted to the assessor on or before December 15, 2011:
¦You purchased a property in the past year and you, or a qualifying relative, occupy the property for homestead purposes on December 1, 2011; or¦You, or a qualifying relative occupy a property for homestead purposes on December 1, 2011, and the property was previously classified as non-homestead.A qualifying relative for homestead purposes depends on the type of property. For residential property, a qualifying relative can be a parent, stepparent, child, stepchild, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew of the owner. This relationship may be by blood or marriage. For agricultural property, a qualifying relative can be a child, grandchild, sibling, or parent of the owner or a child, grandchild, or sibling of the spouse of the owner.
Download the homestead application or the form may be requested by writing, e-mailing, calling, or visiting the Assessor’s Office. Once it has been filed and approved, no further application is necessary unless it is specifically requested by the assessor.
The assessor must also be notified by the property owner or qualifying relative of the property owner if the use of the property has changed during the past year. The law requires that notification be given to the assessor within 30 days of the change in homestead status due to a sale, a move, or for any reason that would no longer qualify the property for the homestead classification. Failure to notify the assessor within this 30-day period is punishable by recalculation of the tax as non-homestead in addition to a penalty equal to 100 percent of the homestead benefits.