Property Tax Exemption for the Elderly, Disabled or Veterans (Circuit Breaker)

State

Washington

Year

2022

Variations in Receipt of Benefit

Benefit Varies with Income

Benefit Type

Circuit Breaker

Benefit

The benefit exempts a portion of the value of the taxpayer's property, excess levies, and part 2 of the state school levy. The portion of the applicant's property which is exempt is determined by the applicant's qualifying income threshold. Income threshold 1 (lowest threshold) exempts the greater of $60,000 or 60% of assessed taxable value. Income threshold 2 (middle threshold) exempts the greater of $50,000 or 35% of assessed taxable value, but not more than $70,000 of the taxable value. Income threshold 3 (highest threshold) does not exempt any portion of the applicant's property, but the applicant may still receive an exemption from excess levies and part 2 of the state school levy.

How is Benefit Disbursed

Exemption from assessed value

Eligible Property Type

Residential

Characteristics of Eligible Property

Eligibility is limited to the applicant's principal place of residence. Any person who sells, transfers, or is displaced from their residence may transfer their exemption status to a replacement residence. An applicant can claim the exemption even if they are confined to a hospital, nursing home, assisted living facility, adult family home, or home of a relative for the purpose of long-term care, excluding if the residence is temporarily unoccupied. Applicants are still eligible for the exemption if the residence is occupied by a spouse, a domestic partner, or a person financially depended on the applicant for support, or the residence is rented for the purpose of paying nursing home, hospital, assisted living facility, or adult family home costs.

Eligibility Criteria

Age

Disability

Homeowner

Income Ceiling

Principal Residence

Veteran

Surviving Spouse

Other Criteria

Description of Eligibility Criteria

The claimant must be 61 years or older, retired from gainful employment due to disability, or a veteran of the armed forces receiving compensation from the US Department of Veteran Affairs for either a combined service-connected evaluation rating of 80% or more or a total disability rating for a service-connected disability. To keep the exemption, the claimant must live in the home for more than 6 months each year. Any surviving spouse or domestic partner of a person who was receiving an exemption at the time of the person's death will qualify if they are 57 years or older. Income threshold 1 is the greater of the prior year's threshold of $30,000 or 45% of the county median income. Income threshold 2 is the greater of the prior year's threshold of $35,000 or 55% of the county median income. Income threshold 3 is the greater of the prior year's threshold of $40,000 or 65% of the county median income. Exact income thresholds by county are published by the Washington State Department of Revenue and are available on their webpage.

Local Option in Adoption of Program

Local government is unable to exercise an option

Local Option Regarding Program Features

No local option regarding program features

State Funding for Local Tax Loss

Local government covers all of its tax loss

Record ID

WA101_RR22

Footnotes

A renewal application is required at least once every 6 years. After initial application and approval, county assessors will notify applicants when it is time to submit a renewal application. Taxpayers may be eligible for a refund if they paid prior years’ taxes because of a mistake, oversight, or a lack of knowledge about this program. Taxpayers applying for refunds must have meet all of the qualifications for the exemption as if they had applied at the time the application was due. Separate applications must be submitted for each tax year when applying for a refund. In order to receive a refund, applications must be filed within three years of the date the taxes were due. Refunds will not be made beyond three years. The exempt status may be transferred to a new residence with the value of the new residence frozen as of 1 January of the year of change. If the resident moves to Washington from another state, the exemption may be transferred to the new residence if owner meets all other eligibility requirements and provides proof of the prior exemption and its cancellation date. Excess levies are those additional property tax levies above the limits that are approved by a vote of the electorate.

Sources

Wash. Rev. Code § 84.36.379 ~ 84.36.389;
Wash. Rev. Code § 84.04.140 (in effect for 2022)
Source Constitution: 
Wash. Const. Art. VII §10
Washington, Department of Revenue, Application for Senior Citizen and Disabled Persons Exemption from Property Taxes (December 2021)
[https://web.archive.org/web/20220308164232/https://dor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/2022-02/64-0002.pdf Accessed 09/14/2023]
View Archived Source

Washington, Department of Revenue, Senior Citizens and People with Disabilities Exemption and Deferred Income Thresholds (Tax Years 2020-2023)
[https://dor.wa.gov/sites/default/files/2023-08/IncomeThres_20-23.pdf?uid=65033565c7cf9 Accessed 09/14/2023]
View Archived Source
Washington, Department of Revenue, Property Tax Exemptions and Deferrals
[https://dor.wa.gov/taxes-rates/property-tax/property-tax-exemptions-and-deferrals Accessed 09/14/2023]
View Archived Source

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