Homestead exemption tax-roll cleanup yields windfall

About 5,000 homes lost a major tax deduction last year, and most declined to reinstate it, boosting tax collections across the county.

The county started deleting homestead credits last year as part of a statewide tax cleanup. Homeowners can claim that credit only for the home that they live in, which means rental properties, second homes and vacation houses don’t get the large deduction.

The county started notifying taxpayers in 2010 that they needed to verify they live in their home in order to keep the deduction, which significantly reduces the value of the property for taxes. If a homeowner didn’t respond to the five or more notices sent before January 2013, the credit was removed.

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