Property Tax Exemption - Senior Citizens/Disabled Persons
The Washington State Legislature has made major changes in the senior citizens/disabled persons/veterans exemption program. These changes will take effect for taxes collected in 2020. The income limits will now be indexed at 65% the median household income in Clark County. The new income limit is $50,348 and below.
Applications to apply for the senior exemption program will be available in January 2020. At this time, we are accepting applications for the 2019 tax year (2018 income year) and prior. Please review the information below for income and eligibility.
You can apply for taxes payable in 2020 as early as January 2020. Taxpayers should remember that Clark County can not process applications that are incomplete and without supporting documents. Please note, if you are required to file taxes you will need your completed (2019) tax return prior to applying.
To qualify for reduced taxes due in 2020, you will need to meet the following criteria:
- Born in 1958 or earlier, or
- Deemed disabled by SSA or have an 80% service-connected disability through the VA and unable to work in 2019 or earlier
- Own and occupy the residence by 12/31/2019
Income (earned in 2019):
- Annual household income of $50,348 or less (this includes Social Security and other taxable and non-taxable sources) (RCW 84.36.383(5))
To apply for the senior exemption program in 2019:
If you are a senior citizen and/or disabled with your primary residence in Washington, the Property Tax Exemption for Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons program may help you pay your property taxes. If your income is below $40,000 ($35,000 for taxes payable years prior to 2015), you may be eligible for the exemption program. Under the exemption program, your residence’s assessed value is frozen. and you will be exempt from excess and special levies resulting in a reduction in your property taxes. The reduction in property taxes from participating in this program will not place a lien against the property.
Applicants who meet the qualifications to participate in the program are approved at one of three program levels based on their combined disposable income. Applicants are able to apply for the exemption for any prior year and must meet the qualifications for the exemption as if they had applied at the time the application was due. If the prior year application is approved, a refund in prior years' taxes may be available. Refunds of paid taxes are only made for up to the three most recent tax years.
The Assessor's Office administers the program on behalf of the Department of Revenue, according to state statute (RCW 84.36) and administrative code (WAC 458-16A). To be approved for an exemption, a taxpayer must apply for the program and meet the qualifications for approval.
To learn more about the program, you may consult the Department of Revenue brochure entitled "Property Tax Exemption for Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons."
To qualify for reduction of taxes this year, you must have met the following qualifications last year:
- Age or disability – you must meet one of the following:
- Age 61 or older by Dec. 31, OR
- 100 percent military service-connected disability, OR
- Social Security-deemed disabled.
- Proof of age or disability, including date deemed disabled, must be submitted.
- Own and occupy the home as your principal residence by Dec. 31.
- If the home is recorded in a trust, you must have a Life Estate or a Lease for Life interest in the property. The Declaration of Trust must be completed by you or your attorney.
- If you purchased the home last year, documentation showing purchase of the home and sale of a former home must be submitted.
- Documentation showing this is your primary residence is also required.
- Your annual combined disposable income may not exceed $40,000 ($35,000 for taxes payable in years prior to 2015).
- This includes all household income.
- Out-of-pocket prescription drug expenses and Medicare premiums may be deducted from this income.
- Complete the application form for each year you wish to apply.
- Return the application with all required documentation, including:
- A copy of your driver’s license or other approved documentation showing your residence and birth date
- A disability award notice showing the date of determination, if applicable
- A death certificate, if an owner is deceased or if applying as a qualified widow/widower
- Your complete IRS federal tax return (if filed), all W-2's, all 1099's and any additional proof of income to the household
- Purchase and sale documents of any properties bought or sold in the year prior to the year of requested reduced taxes
- Copies of any out-of-pocket prescription drug expenses (receipts or pharmacy printouts) for the year prior to the year of requested reduced taxes.
You must submit a separate application form for each year you want to apply for the exemption.
Mail your completed, signed and witnessed application along with copies of the documents listed above to:
Clark County Assessor's Office
Attn: Senior Citizen/Disabled Persons Exemption Program
PO Box 5000
Vancouver, WA 98666-5000
Changes in Status:
Your participation in the program requires you to report any change in your qualifying circumstances. A change in status includes:
- Death of the eligible applicant (survivors must notify assessor)
- Change in income
- Sale or transfer of the property
- Move to an alternate primary residence
- Change in disability status
- Change in zoning or land use designation if your principle residence includes more than one acre of land.
Failure to report any change in status may result in penalties or additional taxes. To report a change in your status, please contact our office via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 564.397.2391, option 3.
To help taxpayers with the application process, we created step-by-step instructions for the application. If you prefer, you may contact us with your questions via email at email@example.com. We also can be reached by phone at 564.397.2391, option 3.