Archive for Wednesday, November 21, 2001

Exemption can help out taxpayers

Some homeowners and renters can get help with school bond tax increase

November 21, 2001

With the passing of the bond for a new high school, Eudora homeowners will find taxes on their homes increasing. For a $100,000 home, it will mean about $145 each year.

But some Eudora residents may be eligible for a tax break that could save them $600.

The Kansas Homestead Refund program works by taking a percentage of a person's taxes based on income, said Douglas County chief clerk Celia Patti.

For instance, Patti said, a three-member household with a collective income between $12,000 and $13,000 per year could receive a 52 percent state income tax refund with a maximum of $600.

While the refund helps homeowners pay property taxes, it also helps subsidize rent for those in apartments, duplexes and other rental property.

"The only exception is that property must be on the tax roll," Patti said. "If they're living in subsidized housing, that is still on the tax roll. The only difference would be if you're living in a property maintained by the city.

Patti also emphasized applicants must have lived in the state for a year to apply.

Most who are eligible are taking advantage of the refund, she said.

"I think that's probably the only one," said Kansas Department of Revenue communications director Gayle Martin of tax breaks for homes. "A lot of the others are for business and inventory."

The program is eligible for Kansas homeowners and renters who a household income of $25,000 a year or less. Additionally, an applicant must meet one of three requirements:

He or she must have been born before Jan. 1, 1946.

He or she must have been permanently disabled or blind during the entire year of 2001, regardless of age.

He or she must have had one or more dependent children at home the entire year, regardless of age. At least one of the children must have been born on or before Jan. 1, 2001 and must have been younger than 18 for all of 2001.

All applicants also can't owe delinquent taxes or rental property must be on the tax roll, and property tax or rent must not have been paid from public funds, on the individual's behalf, directly to the county treasurer or landlord during 2001.

Taxpayers who qualify need to complete a K-40H form and enclose a 2001 property tax statement. Renters fill out the same form but include another form for each place they lived during the year.

A special program allows refund recipients to use the refund they anticipate next year to pay the first half of their property taxes in the current year.

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