HELENA – The Montana Department of Revenue estimates that thousands of Montanans could be eligible for property tax relief, but do not submit the annual applications required.
The Property Tax Assistance Program provides property tax relief to anyone who meets the qualifications, and there is no age restriction. In order to qualify, taxpayers must own and occupy their home as their primary residence for at least seven months during the preceding calendar year, and meet the income requirements, which range from $0 to $20,809 for a single person and $0 to $27,745 for households with more than one owner occupant. Currently the department receives about 18,000 PTAP applications annually, but has identified up to 47,000 additional property owners who may be eligible for the program.
Depending upon qualifying income, taxpayers may be entitled to a 30 to 80 percent property tax reduction on their primary residence. The benefit would apply to the first $100,000 of taxable market value of the residential property, which may include land up to five acres. In some cases, that reduction amounts to hundreds of dollars.
In addition, eligible Montanans can apply for the Disabled American Veteran and the Elderly Homeowner/Renter Tax Credit, if applicable. All have an application deadline of April 15.
DAV provides property tax assistance to qualifying disabled veterans and their surviving spouses, and similar to PTAP, taxpayers must own and occupy their home as their primary residence and meet income requirements, which range from $0 to $47,865 for a single person, $0 to $55,229 for a married couple, or $0 to $41,729 for a surviving spouse.
The 2EC is a refundable income tax credit of up to $1,000 available to taxpayers based on household income, and is for anyone age 62 or older as of Dec. 31, 2012. To qualify, applicants must reside in Montana for nine months or more of the period, occupy one or more dwellings in Montana as an owner, renter or lessee for six months or more, and household income must be less than $45,000.
To apply, contact your local Department of Revenue office. For more information visit revenue.mt.gov or call (866) 859-2254.