By Ron Calhoun
Senior citizens, along with permanently and totally disabled middle-class Ohioans (Income of $30K+), are unfairly left out of any program that aids them in maintaining their homes. For some elderly people, it is a matter of potentially losing their homes. When Black flight followed redlining and white flight, these residents dug in and stayed put in Cleveland, while others of those middle-class and wealthy Black families moved to the suburbs and rural areas of Greater Cleveland. The list for Black flight includes Solon, Twinsburg, Hudson, and Macedonia.
Although Ohio has the Ohio Homestead Exemption program, it is not enough.
The Ohio Homestead exemption allows low-income senior citizens and permanently and totally disabled Ohioans to reduce their property tax bills by shielding some of the market value of their homes from taxation. The exemption, which takes the form of a credit on property tax bills, allows qualifying homeowners to exempt up to $25,000 of the market value of their homes from all local property taxes. For example, through the homestead exemption, a home with a market value of $100,000 is billed as if it is worth $75,000.
The Ohio Revised Code initially established a maximum Ohio Adjusted Gross Income (OAGI) for the applicant and the applicant’s spouse of $30,000. This maximum is to be indexed for inflation each year. OAGI can be found on line 3 of the Ohio Individual Income Tax return. With indexing, the 2022 income threshold is $34,600. The 2021 income threshold was $34,200, the 2020 income threshold was $33,600, the 2019 was $32,800, 2018 was $32,200, and 2017 was $31,800.
For more information, including the average tax saving, please Check here.
Cleveland also has a new tax abatement initiative for first-time home ownership or new construction development for those who want to purchase or build a home.
Want to know more about the Cleveland Tax Abatement Study? Read here.
The Cleveland / Cuyahoga County Down Payment Assistance (DPA) Program provides up to 10% of the purchase price (or up to $16,600) for Cuyahoga County residents whose income is in the low to moderate range. Click here to read more.
What about those who make over $35,00 but less than $50,000 and have been a resident for 20 years or more? Several other States have Tax or Assessment Freeze programs for senior citizens, along with permanently and totally disabled middle-class homeowners.
Several states have adopted similar programs. See the chart below.
Would you support legislation that would help senior citizens and permanently and totally disabled owners keep their homes?
Call 216-236-8081 and leave a voicemail (No last names please!), or make a comment below.