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Property Tax Relief

Many states provide income tax relief related to property taxes paid at the state and local level. Often, the relief is restricted to elderly persons. In some states, such as Washington, people as young as sixty-one can qualify. The disabled often also qualify.

There are two types of relief. The first is often referred to as a circuit breaker and is confined to low-income taxpayers. For example, Connecticut, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, and Washington all have special provisions of this type focused on the elderly, but in all cases, the relief phases out at relatively low income levels. The second type of relief provides a property tax exemption that does not depend on income. Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, and West Virginia have provisions of this type targeted at the elderly. For example, an exemption of assessed value up to $20,000 is provided in West Virginia. The average residential property-tax rate in the state is about 1.2 percent, so that the amount of relief for average property owners is $240. Generally, property-tax relief consists of relatively small concessions compared to the income-tax relief described earlier.

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