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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 12 April 2010

If you own your home, and are a senior citizen or have a disability, you may qualify to have your property tax deferred by the state through two programs designed to keep vulnerable homeowners in their houses. April 15 is the application deadline.
"Both deferral programs allow qualified taxpayers to defer payment of their property taxes," said Bram Ekstrand, Oregon Department of Revenue's deferral program manager.
"The state pays the taxes to the county, maintains the account, and charges the property owner 6 percent simple interest." The interest is also deferred.
As collateral, the state places a lien on the property. It's paid when the taxpayer sells the property, permanently moves off the property—other than for short-term health reasons—or if the property changes ownership. A surviving spouse may continue on the deferral program if they qualify.
"We also work with the property heirs to arrange for repayment of the deferral if there is no spouse," Ekstrand said.
To qualify for either program, the property must: be the taxpayer's main residence; the taxpayer must have a deed or recorded sales contract; and the annual household income must be less than $38,500 for the year before they apply.
Participants may stay on either program if their federal adjusted gross income doesn't exceed $38,500. If household income exceeds the limit, the department may defer a portion of the property tax.
To qualify for the Disabled Citizen Property Tax Deferral Program, you must:
• Meet the income and property-ownership requirements.
• Qualify for or be receiving federal Social Security Disability benefits.
To qualify for the Senior Citizen Property Tax Deferral Program, you must:
• Meet the income and property-ownership requirements.
• Be at least 62 years old by April 15.
You can get applications and information at your county assessor's office, by going to www.oregon.gov/DOR/SCD, or by calling 1-800-356-4222 (toll-free from an Oregon prefix), or 503-378-4988 (Salem and outside Oregon).[email protected]
For more information you can email: [email protected]; ; or call TTY (hearing or speech impaired), call 1-800-886-7204.
Because the Department of Revenue receives many phone calls during tax season, callers may experience extended waiting times.

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