These forms must be filled out and returned by August 30th in order for a person to continue to receive an exemption. Pacific County audits these accounts once every three years.
We periodically audit all programs receiving an exemption (Farm and Ag, Timber etc.) since under Washington law the tax amounts exempted under these programs do not go away but are shifted onto the other tax payers in a taxing district.
The following basic information comes from the Washington state Dept of Revenue site at wa.dor.gov.
In order to qualify for or continue to qualify for this program you must be at least 61 years old on December 31 of the application year, or unable to work because of a disability, or a veteran entitled to and receiving compensation from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs at a total disability rating for a service-connected disability.
The property must be your primary residence at the time your application is due. You must occupy the home for more than six months each year. Your residence may qualify even if you are temporarily in a hospital, nursing home, boarding home or adult family home. You may rent your residence to someone else during your stay in one of these facilities if the rental income is used to pay the facility costs. Property used as a vacation home is not eligible for the exemption program.
If your annual income for the application year is $35,000 or less, your home will be exempt from all excess and special levies. Excess and special levies are in addition to regular levies. They require voter approval and provide money for a specific purpose, for example, school bonds and maintenance and operation levies.
In addition, if your income is $30,000 or less, a portion of the regular levy amount may be exempt. If your household income is between $25,001 and $30,000, you are exempt from regular levies on $50,000 or 35 percent of the assessed value; whichever is greater (but not more than $70,000 of the assessed value).
If your household income is $25,000 or less, you are exempt from regular levies on the first $60,000 or 60 percent of your home’s assessed value, whichever is greater.
ALL participants in the program MUST return the audit form in order to continue to receive the benefits of the program. There will be someone in the Long Beach office at 7013 Sandridge Road on Wednesdays only from 9 a.m. - noon, or until all taxpayers are helped. Please be patient, this is a very busy time. As always, the South Bend office is open 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.
If you have any questions regarding the audit or if you feel you may qualify for the Senior/Disabled program, please call Sheryl Crose. For north county residents, call 875-9300, ext. 2207, or south county residents call 360-642-9300, ext. 2207.
Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on www.hometowndebate.com 717/12. If you would like to respond to this story, go to hometowndebate.com