At least 12 states authorize some form of property tax freeze for senior homeowners. The states are Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, and Washington State. Five also extend the freeze to taxpayers with disabilities, regardless of age. As a senior in Arizona, you may be eligible for a Tax Freeze on the taxable market value of your home. This includes Phoenix’s active adult communities, as well as, homes outside of those communities. The intent is to help low-income seniors. Let’s explore Arizona senior homeowner’s tax relief in more detail below.
The official name of the program is called The Senior Valuation Protection Option. It freezes the property valuation of residential homeowners who are 65 or older as of January 1st. The property valuation includes the residence and land up to 10 acres. It does not freeze your taxes just the property value. You must apply and qualify with the county. September 1st of every year is the deadline.
To qualify you must meet certain criteria:
1. Property owner (applicant) must be 65 years of age or older.
2. The property must be the primary residence of the property owner and must have lived there for at least 2 years.
3. The property owner’s name must be on the title.
Currently, in Maricopa County, the property owner(s) total income including taxable and nontaxable income must be under $35,184 for a single owner and $43,982 for 2 or more owners. The last 3 years taxes are averaged together. Check your county for specifics on income requirements and updates on the program as the total income does get revised.
The application deadline for filing is September 1. You can download the application from the Assessor’s Office for from this link, Form DOR 82104. In many of the active adult communities, there are local resources to help you file. Sun City West, for example, has a county assessor representative available within the community at PORA a few days a week to assist residents with filing. Check with your active adult community or city for local help filing as you must get the form from the county assessors office where your property is located.
Include with your application:
1. Proof of age
2. Proof of residency
3. Proof of all income
Applications that are submitted are reviewed and property owners are notified of their qualification status by December 1st of the qualifying year. The valuation is good for 3 years and can be renewed at the end of that time frame by re-applying. The freeze is for the application year and the following 2 years.