DeKalb County Trustee Mails Out Property Tax Statements

November 7, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page
DeKalb County Trustee Sean Driver

The DeKalb County Trustee's office mailed out the 2008 DeKalb County property tax statements Thursday.

DeKalb County Trustee Sean Driver says tax payers have until February 28th, 2009 to pay their tax bill. "Our tax notices have gone out, as of Thursday, November 6th. We had a time getting them in this year with the state being a little behind but we've got them ready to go. They are due and payable right now through February 28th, 2009. We are ready to go. Our computers are set up and ready to go with everything that involves collecting taxes."

Driver says those who still need to pay their 2007 property tax bill may do so at the Trustee's office in the courthouse. "I still have in the Trustee's Office the 2007 taxes and I will turn those over to the Chancery Court on April 1st, 2009. You can pay all of those taxes if you still need to pay those through that date. Of course, with the 2007 taxes, they are accruing a one and a half percent penalty per month if they're late."

Seniors, be sure to check with the office on the state tax relief program. Income limit for 2008 is $24,790 for single or combined household incomes.

Trustee Driver says Tennessee's tax relief program is a state-funded program that provides a rebate of credit for all or a portion of the property taxes on residential property owned and occupied by low-income elderly, low-income disabled, and disabled veteran homeowners and their surviving spouses. "There are a few changes for the elderly and disabled homeowners. That being the income limit which is set by the state of Tennessee. For DeKalb County, the 2007 combined income limit, whether sole owner or co-owner, is $24,790. That includes social security benefits, any kind of bank interest, retirement and pension, any kind of veteran's benefits, or any kind of income you may have drawn in 2007."

"With elderly homeowners, you must be age 65 or older before December 31st, 2008. The law requires us to provide evidence of that age, whether it be through a driver's license, birth certificate, or marriage license. You must own this property to get tax relief and be under the income limit for eligibility."

"For disabled homeowners, the same stipulations apply as for the elderly homeowners, except for disability, we must have acceptable evidence of disability, that being a current letter dated for 2008 that specifies the type of benefits that you receive. You have to be 100% disabled as deemed by the Social Security Administration or another agency."

"With disabled veterans and widows or widowers, you must be 100% total and permanently disabled. That being through a service connected disability. That'll be deemed by the Veteran's Administration. We have a form to fill out to send to the Veteran's Administration so they can see that you are trying to apply for tax relief. They will then let the state or tax relief program know that you do qualify as being 100% total and permanently disabled."

"For disabled veterans and widows, income is irrelevant. I think that's tremendous since our service people have served our country so well."

" Let me mention something about deadlines. When you receive your tax cards and want to apply for tax relief. If you think you meet the requirements, you can bring in your tax bill. Here's the way tax relief works in our Trustee's office. Let's say your taxes are $200. You will pay that $200 in full and we will send your application to the state to see if you are accepted and meet the requirements. This year our county is offering $91 for tax relief. You will be reimbursed the first time that $91. We'll automatically give you that tax relief year after year, but for the first time you will be reimbursed the amount of tax relief back to your home. But on the first when you pay your tax, we will take in the total amount of tax and then send your application to the state and wait for approval. So anytime between now and April 6th, 2009 you can sign up for tax relief. The state allows 35 days after our last day to collect taxes, which is February 28th, 2009. So April 6th is the last day to sign up for tax relief for 2008"

Eligibility requirements for Elderly Homeowners are as follows:

Must be 65 or older on or before December 31st, 2008
Must provide evidence of age (i.e. driver's license, birth certificate, marriage license)
Must own and use the property on which you are applying as your primary residence
Qualified applicants will receive property tax relief on the first $25,000 of their property's market value.
According to the deed of the property, Must have records of the combined 2007 income of all owners of the property not exceeding $24,790. Income (i.e. social security, SSI pension, etc)

Eligibility requirements for Disabled Homeowners are as follows:

Must have been totally and permanently disabled as rated by the Social Security Administration or any other qualified agency on or before December 31st, 2008
Must provide evidence of age (i.e. driver's license, birth certificate, marriage license)
Must own and use the property on which you are applying as your primary residence
Must have records of the combined 2007 income of all owners of the property not exceeding $24,790

Eligibility requirements for Disabled Veteran Homeowners and/or widow or widower:

Must own and use the property on which you are applying as your primary residence.
Your disability must meet one of the following categories:
A service-connected disability that resulted in (1) Paraplegia, (2) Permanent paralysis of both legs and lower part of the body resulting from traumatic injury or disease to the spinal cord or brain, (3) Loss or loss of use of, two or more limbs, and (4) Legal blindness.

A total and permanent disability rating from a service-connected disability

A 100% total and permanent disability rating from being a prisoner of war.

The Veteran's Administration Office determines eligibility from the applicant's information in the Trustee's Office forwarded to the State of Tennessee.

If you meet these requirements you may apply in the Trustee's Office as soon as you receive your property tax bill. The deadline to apply is 35 days after February 28th, 2009 or April 6th, 2009.

If you have any additional questions concerning the tax relief program, come by the Trustee's office in the courthouse or call 597-5176.

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