Homeowners 65 and older should check their property tax bills and make sure they are getting any senior exemptions on school parcel taxes to which they are entitled. These exemptions could reduce their tax bills by hundreds of dollars, or more than $1,000 in some wealthier districts.
To win voter approval for school parcel taxes, many K-12 districts offer exemptions to people 65 and older. But they don’t often publicize the exemptions or make them easy to get.
To qualify, homeowners generally must live in the home as their primary residence. They must request, fill out and send in application provided by the district, generally with proof of age, ownership and residency. Some districts require seniors to fill out a new application every year, others renew it automatically.
Most require seniors to apply by a certain date, often in May or June, to get an exemption for the tax year that starts July 1. Some will grant an exemption retroactively for applicants who miss the deadline, many will not. People do not have to be 65 when the tax was approved to get the exemption; they can apply when they turn 65.
Another thing homeowners can do is look up the ballot measure for the tax and see if any exemptions were offered.