The following deductions are available to homeowners to reduce their property taxes, according to County Auditor Kay Myers. For these deductions to be applied to real estate, homeowners must file an application in the LaGrange County Auditor’s Office before the last business day in December 2012 to be credited on the following year’s taxes – 2012 to be paid in 2013. It is the homeowner’s responsibility to ensure that an application for deductions has been filed.
Mobile home exemptions must be filed between the first of the year and March 31 of the year the deduction is to be effective.
HomesteadCredit and Standard Deduction:This exemption may be filed on either real estate or mobile homes. This can only be filed on the owner’s primary residence. You will need to bring Social Security Card and driver’s license or ID cards for yourself and spouse (even if spouse is not on title of property).
Mortgage Deduction:If a person owns or is buying property that has a mortgage or a recorded contract, and is a resident of Indiana, the homeowner may qualify for the mortgage deduction. The value of the deduction may not exceed the amount of the indebtedness. A person owning more than one property may not receive mortgage deductions totaling more than $3,000.
Age 65 Deduction:The taxpayer must be age 65 by Dec. 31 of the year prior to filing and have a combined adjusted gross income (this includes everyone whose name appears on the title of the property), of less than $25,000. The assessed value for all property owned may not exceed $182,430. Your most current tax return will be used as proof of income. This is also available for a non-remarried surviving spouse over age 60 whose spouse was already getting this exemption at the time of death. This can only be combined with the mortgage and homestead exemptions.
Circuit Breaker Age Deduction:Age 65 by Dec 31 of year prior to filing. This must be your primary residence. Assessed value must be $160,000 or less and the income for a single person cannot be over $30,000. Income for a married couple cannot be over $40,000.
Blind Deduction:Taxable income must be less than $17,000 and a written statement from an Indiana physician must provide proof of blindness. You must reside on the property. This can only be combined with the mortgage and homestead exemptions. Your most current tax return will be used as proof of income.
Disabled Deduction:Taxable income must be less than $17,000. Your most current tax return will be used as proof of income. You must reside on the property and must provide proof of disability, either Social Security disability or an Indiana doctor’s statement that the claimant is unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months. This cannot be allowed if you have an age exemption.
Disabled Veteran Exemption:This is only for a service-connected disability of at least 10 percent. You must have served at least 90 days with an honorable discharge. You must also have a Veterans Form 20-5455, Pension Certificate or Award of Compensation or Letter of Disability. This exemption cannot be combined with an age exemption.
There are both total and partial disability exemptions available depending on information from the V.A. Total disability has a combined property value limit of $143,160 for all real estate and personal property.
Geothermal Deduction:Attributed to solar energy system/wind, geothermal, or hydroelectric power device. Must be a state approved system.
Fertilizer and Pesticide Deduction:These deductions are also available, if certain requirements are met.
If you have questions about any of the deductions, contact the LaGrange County Auditor’s office at 260-499-6311. These deductions may be filed at the LaGrange County Auditor’s Office, located at 114 W. Michigan St. in LaGrange. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Deadline for all filings is the last business day in December. Exemption applications must be refiled anytime names change on property, you move your primary residence, or refinance an existing mortgage.