Look Into Homestead Exemptions
By Lynn Sanchez
Nebraska homeowners who are most likely to be cost-burdened by property taxes can qualify for up to 100% relief through the “Homestead Exemption” program. Douglas County is actively trying to “grow” the program. Applications are taken between February 1st and June 30st, 2020 for the following year’s (2021) property taxes.
“It’s an awesome, awesome program,” said Douglas County Assessor Diane Battiato. “We probably go through about 13,000 homesteaders each year, which is only probably a handful of those who could be qualified. So we urge everyone if they’re in that situation to apply. We have a whole section on our website for Homestead Exemption, it gives you all the information and you can get all the forms.” The program is designed to help:
- Seniors 65 and over
- Disabled persons
- Disabled veterans or widows/widowers of a veteran
Applications for the program are taken between February 1 and June 30th. Call the Assessor’s office at (402) 444-7060 option 2 to have application mailed to you. If you move during the eligibility period (January 1st through August 15th) you may transfer your homestead exemption to your new property.
“There’s a lot of criteria involved,” said Battiato, including documentation of income and medical expense, but there is also help available. “We always have onsite help sites from April through June at various places in the community. I have representatives from my office and we partner with Volunteers Assisting Seniors (VAS.) Applicants can come into our office and my staff is dedicated to help them through their forms. If they’re homebound, we will go to their house. They have to call and make the appointment, but we will go to their home. We’re trying to grow this program.”
A full list of 2020 locations for assistance in filling out applications will be available on the Assessor’s website before the deadline of June 30th, 2020. Contact the Douglas County Assessor’s Office (402) 444-7060 option 2