SALEM—The Oregon Department of Revenue has started its annual review of participant eligibility for the state’s Senior and Disabled Citizens Property Tax Deferral Program.
About half the current participants in the program soon will receive a one-page recertification letter containing several questions about themselves and their property. Revenue will use their answers to verify they still meet program eligibility criteria set by the Legislature. The rest of the program’s participants will receive letters next year.
Revenue urges participants who receive a recertification request to respond promptly. They have 65 days from the date of the letter to file the necessary paperwork.
“People who receive this letter shouldn’t wait until the last minute,” said Bronson Rueda, the unit manager for the program. “They need to meet the deadline or they will lose their active status in the program. If that happens, the state will not pay their property taxes, beginning November 2013 and going forward.”
The deferral program also is now accepting new applicants for the 2013-14 tax year. Those interested must file an application with their county assessor’s office by April 15.
The Oregon State Legislature established the Senior and Disabled Citizens Property Tax Deferral Program in 1964 to help qualified citizens pay their county property taxes. Essentially, the state lends the tax payment to eligible participants. A lien is placed on their property, and they must repay all taxes and fees with interest before the lien is removed.
This is the second year the state of Oregon has asked participants to recertify their eligibility for the program. Prior to changes the 2011 Legislature made, there was no recertification process; once an applicant was admitted to the program they would remain active until they died, transferred their property to someone else, or moved from their property for reasons not related to health.
Applications and information about the program can be obtained from County Assessor’s Offices or online at www.oregon.gov/dor/scd
Visit www.oregon.gov/dor to get tax forms, check the status of your refund or make tax payments, or call 1-800-356-4222 toll-free from an Oregon prefix (English or Spanish); 503-378-4988 in Salem and outside Oregon; or e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org. For TTY (hearing or speech impaired), call 1-800-886-7204. Due to the amount of calls the department receives during tax season, you may experience extended waiting times.