How Do You Spell Relief? Changes to Homestead Exemption to Provide Relief for Eligible Ohio Homeowners

August 17, 2023

With 8.3% inflation last year and rising property taxes due to increased property values, we all could use some relief; especially those who really need it.

Legislative Action to Alleviate Property Tax Burdens

Thanks to Reps. Thomas Hall, R-Madison Township, and Steve Demetriou, R-Bainbridge Township, changes to Ohio’s Homestead Exemption (via HB 57) will provide such relief to eligible homeowners in the form of expanded homestead exemption benefits (last increased in 2007).

Eligibility and Benefits of Ohio’s “Homestead Exemption”

Ohio’s “Homestead Exemption” provides annual property tax relief to the following “Eligible Homeowners“:

  • Homeowners sixty-five and older whose income does not exceed $36,100
  • Totally and permanently disabled homeowners whose income does not exceed $36,100
  • Veterans, totally and permanently disabled from a service-related injury, regardless of income.

Tax Reduction Provisions

Under the current law, eligible, non-veteran homeowners may be able to reduce the market value of their homestead by up to $25,000 for property taxation purposes. Eligible veteran homeowners may be able to reduce the market value of their homestead by up to $50,000 for property taxation purposes.

For example, through the current Homestead Exemption, a home with a market value of $100,000 would be billed for tax purposes as if it is worth $75,000 (or $50,000 for eligible veterans). The exact amount of savings varies from location to location, but overall, across Ohio, qualified homeowners currently save an average of about $400-$800 per year. The tax exemption is limited to the “homestead“, which Ohio law defines as an owner’s dwelling and up to one acre of land.

Inflation-Adjusted Relief

HB 57 takes the exemption one step further and ties exempted amounts to inflation so when inflation increases, the amounts that qualifying homeowners can exempt would increase. For example, if HB 57 had been in effect last year when inflation was 8%, the senior/disabled homestead exemption would now be $27,000 and disabled veterans would be eligible for a $54,000 exemption.

Supporting Ohio’s Vital Constituencies

Reps. Hall and Demetriou explained that they:

“Introduced this legislation to ensure these important constituencies don’t get priced out of their homes for reasons outside their control.”

HB 57 now goes to the Ohio Senate where some hope the relief (and exemption) gets further expanded by raising the personal income ceiling, and including vets that are not totally disabled.

Claiming Homestead Exemption Benefits

It is important to note that Homestead Exemptions are not initially automatic. You must fill out and file a short application with your local county auditor/fiscal officer any time before December 31st (or by the first Monday of June for manufactured or mobile homes). If you were eligible for the exemption last year, but did not apply, you can file a late application for the previous year at the same time that you file your application for the current year. If you are approved for the Homestead Exemption, you do not need to re-apply in future years.

More information, including an application for the exemption, can be found at the Ohio Department of Taxation website, and your County’s website. Contact KJK Real Estate attorney Stephan Richman (SDR@kjk.com; 216.736.7203) for further information.