Property owners in Comanche County have begun paying their taxes for the year, and Comanche County Assessor Grant Edwards wants to remind them of exemption programs that are available.
Edwards said those programs are important because they can lower or control property taxes.
“It’s amazing to me how many people have not filed for Homestead Exemption on their home,” Edwards said about one program, explaining the exemption subtracts $1,000 from the assessed value of the property while also protecting the house against a lawsuit its owner may lose.
Edwards also cited the Property Valuation Limitation, which he said is the best help the county can provide property owners. The program allows anyone age 65 and older, with a gross household income of $70,800 or less for the 2023 tax year, to freeze the taxable value of their home. That freeze is applied after all increases and adjustments have been made for the year in which the application is filed.
Edwards said other programs also are available, including the Double Homestead and the 100 percent Disabled Veterans Homestead exemptions. Applications can be filed at the County Assessor’s Office, located in Suite 301 of the Comanche County Courthouse, 315 SW 5th. Information also is available by calling the office at 355-1052.
Homestead Exemption: The $1,000 exemption is granted on the assessed value of the property, thus lowering the tax. Applications may be made anytime between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31. applications filed by March 15 will be applied to the year in which the application is filed while those filed after March 15 will be applied to the following year. To quality, residents must live in the property on Jan. 1 of the filing year, with the deed filed before Feb. 1 of the filing year. The person filing the application must live in the home and his/her name must be on the deed. For military personnel, applying for the exemption makes them a legal resident of Oklahoma, subject to state taxes. The exemption remains in force as long as the taxpayer has no delinquent accounts on the County Treasurer’s Office’s annual personal property lien docket. State law also specifies that those holding the exemption are protected from losing their home if they are sued and lose.
Double Homestead: Those with a gross household income of $30,000 or less in the previous year may qualify for a Double Homestead Exemption. Those under age 65 must reapply annually. The filing period is Jan. 1 through March 15.
Property Valuation Limitation: This exemption freezes the property value at the taxable value of the year in which the application is made, after all increases and adjustments have been applied for that year. To qualify, applicants must be age 65 or older, with a gross household income of $70,800 or less for the 2023 tax filing year (maximum income varies each year, as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development). Applicants must own and occupy the property as of Jan. 1 of the year they apply. While the exemption locks in the valuation, it does not freeze all taxes (mill levy increases will apply, for example). The filing period is Jan. 1 through March 15.
Claim for Credit or Refund: Those age 65 or older, or totally disabled (with doctor’s proof), with an income of less than $12,000 may qualify for a partial refund of the previous year’s paid taxes. Applicants must be Oklahoma residents and reapply for the credit or refund annually. The filing period is Jan. 1 through June 30.
Veteran’s Homestead: This is a 100 percent personal property tax exemption for 100 percent disabled veterans or surviving spouses for the full fair cash value of their homestead. The qualifying veteran/surviving spouse must have a disability verification letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs (those without should call the Veterans Affairs Administration at 1-800-827-1000). The name of the veteran or surviving spouse must be on the property deed. To qualify, a veteran must have been honorably discharged from the Armed Forces or Oklahoma National Guard; must be an Oklahoma resident; and must have a 100 percent permanent disability, sustained through military action or accident, or be the result of a disease contracted while in active service. The veteran also must otherwise qualify for homestead exemption.