It's an early Christmas present to many North Dakota senior citizens and folks, who are disabled. New regulations in the State Homestead Act could give seniors a major break on their property taxes.
It could be a welcome to relief for seniors trying to pay winter heating bills on fixed incomes. The new regulations on who qualifies for the North Dakota Homestead Tax Credit, could now save them a bundle on their property taxes.
Seniors can now be worth half a million dollars, earn more and still qualify.
John Herz, GF City Assessor: "In 2012, the maximum income you could earn was $26,000. This year, the income limit is set at $42,000. So, that's a substantial change."
It all means a senior citizen here in Grand Forks, who owns a $150,000 home could save as much as $1,456 on their tax bill. That's a savings of 65-percent.
Reporter: "Is that something you're going to be looking into?"
Harold Gangelhoff, Grand Forks: "Yes, I will check on it."
Reporter: "Could be a nice little Christmas present?"
Folks who work with Seniors on tax returns say, the biggest factor increasing the number of people, who are now eligible for the tax credit, was moving up the net worth up to 500-hundred-thousand dollars.
Libby Kathman, GF Senior Center: "They sometimes had just a little too much to qualify for… be eligible for it. But now, with the expanded $500,000 asset limit, it should really make a difference."
The new tax credit regulations also apply to folks who are on total disability. It should make a merry Christmas for thousands of extra North Dakotans.
Many Senior Centers across North Dakota have people to help you figure out your eligibility and savings from the new regulations… or you can call your City Assessor for more information.