Citizens and Disabled Persons Property Tax and Special Assessment
is this program?
The Senior Citizens
and Disabled Persons Property Tax and Special Assessment Deferral
Program postpones payment of your property taxes or special
assessments. Unlike the exemption program, this program is
not a reduction of your taxes. On your behalf, the Department
of Revenue pays the deferred property taxes and special assessments
to your local Treasurer.
A special assessment
is for a local improvement that directly benefits your property.
Examples include assessments for sewers, lights, water, paving
or curbing. Special assessments are also known as Local Improvement
Districts (LlDs) or Utility Local Improvement Districts (ULlDs)
The amount of the
postponed taxes and/or special assessments, plus 8% interest
per year, becomes a lien by the state until you pay the total
amount The lien, filed with the County Auditor, shows
the State of Washington as having an interest in your property.
property is eligible?
Age or Disability
Amount eligible for deferral
Property is Eligible: The exemption and deferral are available
for your principal home and up to one acre of land. Mobile
homes may qualify as residences for both programs even if
the applicant does not own the land where the mobile home
Ownership: You must
own the property in total (fee owner) or under a contract
purchase. The lien holder or beneficiary must co-sign the
application for deferral if the mortgage or purchase contract
requires a reserve account for the payment of taxes.
You are not eligible to defer your taxes if you have a life
estate, lease for life, or share ownership in a cooperative
or Disability: To be considered a senior citizen, you
must be at least 60 years old on December 31 of the year in
which you apply. To be considered disabled you must be unable
to work because of a physical disability. A Proof of Disability
Statement must be completed by your physician. This form can
be obtained from the Assessor´s Office.
The property must be your principal place of residence on
the date of your application. You must occupy the home for
at least six months each year. Your residence may qualify
even if your are temporarily in a hospital, nursing home,
or boarding home licensed under RCW 18.20.030 or adult family
home licensed under RCW 20.128.050. You may rent your
residence to someone else during your hospital, nursing home,
boarding home, or adult family home stay, if the income is
used to pay the hospital, nursing home, boarding home, or
adult family home costs.
Property used as
a vacation home is not eligible for the program.
Income: To qualify for this program, your household income
may not exceed $40,000. If your household income is less than
$35,000, you must first apply for the exemption program. For
example, if your household income is $22,000 and the assessed
value of your property is $175,000, you must first apply for
the exemption program. After the exemption is applied, taxes
will be based on a value of $70,000 ($175,000 less allowed
60% exemption). This value will help determine the amount
of property taxes you are eligible to defer.
You need to keep in force a fire and casualty insurance policy
in an amount enough to protect the interest of the State of
Washington. The insurance policy must show the State of Washington
as loss payee. You must provide
the Department of Revenue with a copy of the policy within
60 days of application. If you do not carry insurance,
you may only defer property taxes and special assessments
based on the amount of equity you have in the property using
only the land value.
Eligible for Deferral: The amount of equity you have in
your home determines the amount of property taxes and/or special
assessments eligible for deferral. Equity is the difference
between the assessed value of the property and all debts secured
by the property. You must provide current balances for all
debts that are secured by the property.
Providing you meet
all qualifications and maintain adequate fire and casualty
insurance, you may defer taxes and special assessments in
an amount up to 80 percent of your equity.
Signing the Application
Period: You should apply at least 30 days before payment
of property taxes and/or special assessments are due.
If you apply late, the County or City Treasurer will assess
late penalties and interest. Late penalties and interest
will increase the amount of the lien filed by the state.
If you are applying to stop the County Treasurer from foreclosing
for unpaid taxes, you must apply within 30 days of receiving
the foreclosure notice.
Application: You must apply each year you want to defer
taxes or special assesments.
the Application: You, your agent, or your legal guardian
must sign the application. If the contract purchase
agreement, deed of trust, or mortgage requires a reserve account
for the payment of property taxes, the lien holder's notarized
signature must also be on the application.
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Deferred Amounts Must Be Paid
The deferred amount
and interest must be paid when:
- The property is transferred or conveyed to someone else,
- You pass away, unless your spouse qualifies for the deferral
and files an application with the County Assessor within
90 days of your death,
- You no longer permanently reside at the residence.
- Fire and casualty insurance is not kept in an amount
sufficient to protect the interest of the state and the
deferred amount exceeds 100 percent of equity of the land
- The deferred amount, plus interest, exceeds 80 percent
of the equity in the insured value of the residence plus
the land value.
The County Assessor must tell you
if your application is denied. You may appeal the Assessor´s
decision to the County Board of Equalization. The County
Board of Equalization must receive your appeal by July 1 or
within 30 days of when the denial notice was mailed, whichever
date is later.