Longtime New Tampa area residents age 65 and older might have a reason to celebrate.
Hillsborough County Commissioners agreed Feb. 20 to approve a bigger property tax break for older homeowners. Instead of the $40,000 homestead exemption longtime residents now get, the amount will rise to $50,000 starting in the 2014 tax year.
The additional homestead exemption applies to people 65 and older who own their homes and have lived in them for at least 25 years. The value of the home must be under $250,000 and there are certain income requirements.
Commissioners had a public hearing Wednesday about the proposed increase in the exemption, but no one from the community turned out to speak. Commissioners, however, did have a few things to say before voting 7-0 to approve the measure.
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Commissioner Kevin Beckner was concerned that residents wouldn’t know about the new exemption or how to file for it. Staff assured him the Property Appraisers Office would make information available to seniors.
The new tax break is effective for the 2014 property tax year.
Information on how to claim the exemption will eventually be made available on the Hillsborough County Property Appraisers Office website.
The break is expected to reduce the county’s ad valorem tax revenues by $178,900.
What do you think about the tax break for low-income seniors? Do you agree with the move? Are there other special groups you think the county should provide assistance to? Share your thoughts below!