Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Property Tax Breaks

When people think about "tax breaks," they are usually considering income taxes.  But have you considered your property taxes?  There may be a chance to cut down on your present or future property taxes.

One is property tax breaks for the aged or disabled.  In many states, like Ohio, Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, etc., there are property tax exemptions that reduce the property tax burden on those two groups.  For more information, see the Retirement Living page on taxes for each state.  They will provide further links to each state's tax information.  In some states, elderly or disabled veterans may be eligible for tax breaks, too. Here's the rundown for various states.

Another possibility is  tax abatements on property that you are considering buying.  This usually happens when a city decides that it wants to fire up development and home ownership in some depressed area of the city, and that the best way to do this is to let property owners fix up the building, adding improvements without increasing taxes on the property, usually for some fixed time, like 10 or 15 years, or to allow commercial developers to build on it in the first place.  Some big cities where it is available include ClevelandToledo, and New York, but it's available in different cities all over the U.S.  This is usually limited to specific areas of the city, so check to see if the property you are considering is included.  Note that this is something that is usually possible at the time of purchase, rather than for existing property with no new improvements.  When considering a property purchase, contact the Housing Department or Development Department of the city in which you are thinking of purchasing property and see if a property tax abatement is possible.

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