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Real Estate Tax Relief - Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply for real estate tax relief?
Call the Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office to schedule a personal appointment. The application process usually takes less than thirty minutes to complete and involves the applicant supplying documentation of the household’s gross income and owners' resources.
What is the deadline for applying?
To be eligible for the real estate tax relief program, you must apply each year between January 1 and May 15. The final deadline for accepting applications is May 15. If you are eligible, relief will be applied to your real estate tax bills due on September 30, December 31, March 31, and June 5 of the following fiscal year.
Do I have to live in the property to be exempted?
Yes. The applicant seeking relief must own and occupy the property. An exception is allowed for persons living in nursing homes, hospitals, or convalescent homes for physical or mental care so long as their property is not being used by or rented to others for monetary consideration.
What is the age requirement for senior citizens?
The owner whose name appears on the tax bill must be at least 65 years of age on or before June 30 of the year in which the application is made. The spouse can be under the age of 65.
Is there an age requirement for disabled citizens?
No. If a person who is permanently and totally disabled owns real estate, there is no minimum age requirement.
What proof is needed to establish the fact that a person is permanently and totally disabled?
Certification is required from the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Railroad Retirement Board, or the Social Security Administration. If an applicant is not eligible for certification by any of these agencies, there must be sworn affidavits provided by two medical doctors licensed to practice medicine in Virginia. One of these affidavits must be based upon a physical examination.
What is the maximum amount of income that I can have to be eligible?
The gross combined household income during the calendar year preceding the taxable year cannot exceed $62,000 (excluding the first $10,000 of income for an owner who is permanently disabled). Income of relatives living in the dwelling (excluding up to $10,000 per person) is included in computing gross income.
Combined Income % of Tax Relieved $ 0 - $22,000 100% $22,001 - $23,500 90% $23,501 - $25,000 80% $25,001 - $26,500 70% $26,501 - $28,000 60% $28,001 - $29,500 50% $29,501 - $31,000 40% $31,001 - $33,500 30% $33,501 - $36,500 20% $36,501 - $44,000 10% $44,001 - $62,000 No Increase In Tax Liability*
No Increase In Tax Liability means due to a change in assessed value or tax rate, a qualified applicant’s taxes will not increase. A decrease in tax liability can occur if 1) a qualified applicant’s assessment is reduced, 2) the tax rate is reduced and/or 3) an existing applicant qualifies for a higher percentage of relief as compared to a prior year.What are some examples of income?
Wages, Social Security, annuities, pensions, disability income, interest, dividends, IRA and 401(k) distributions, business income, farm income, income from rental property, and income from roomers or boarders.
What are some examples of resources?
Real estate other than the residence, bank accounts, trusts, certificates of deposit, stocks, IRAs, bonds, cash value of life insurance policies, and value of personal property such as automobiles.
If I die, do my heirs have to repay the amount of taxes relieved?
No. Chesapeake operates an exemption program. Senior citizens and disabled persons who meet the eligibility criteria are granted relief from all or part of their real estate taxes. No repayment of the taxes which are exempted is ever required by you or your heirs.
Are mobile homes eligible to be considered for tax relief?
Yes. Mobile homes qualify if owned by the applicant, whether or not the land is owned by the applicant. For purposes of this program, mobile homes are eligible for tax relief as real estate, and the same qualifications apply.