Homestead exemption rules changing - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Homestead exemption rules changing

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

A new law raises the income threshold for homestead exemptions, which allow the elderly and disabled to be exempt from property taxes.

But the law, which takes effect next week, also includes language that changes eligibility requirements and that could mean some people could lose their exemption. 

Lawmakers raised the maximum income requirement from $7,500 to $12,500 dollars for those who over the age of 65 or those who have retired because of a disability.   At the same time, legislators required those applying for the exemptions to offer more proof.

Montgomery County Revenue Commissioner Janet Buskey said everyone who currently receives an exemption for a disability will have to re-apply.   The State Department of Revenue sent out guidelines this week to county officials.

"We normally send out a postcard," Buskey said.  "Of course, you know this application is pretty long.  I guess we're going to have some interns stuffing envelopes for us."

The other big change - the disability exemption is now tied to income, which wasn't there before.  That could mean some people who are disabled could end paying property taxes for the first time in years   because they won't qualify for the exemption.

Buskey foresees the changes as revenue neutral in Montgomery County.  The new rules take effect for the 2013 tax year, but those who want exemptions must apply by the end of this year.   For more information, you can call the office at 334-832-1250.

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