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									                                                     WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE




 Property Tax Assistance Program
for Widows or Widowers of Veterans                                                                                                OCTOBER 2010




If you are a senior citizen or disabled
person, and a widow or widower of a
qualifying veteran, Washington has a
program that may help you pay your
property taxes. Your household
income, age or disability, and your
spouse’s veteran status at the time
of his/her death determine your
eligibility for this program.                      How do I apply for this                             When should I apply?
Property Tax Assistance for Widows                 program?                                            Apply for assistance 30 days before
and Widowers of Veterans is a grant                To apply, complete the Property Tax                 your taxes are due.
program. It is not a loan and does not             Assistance Claim Form for Widows                    Example: If you want assistance for
have to be repaid unless you move                  and Widowers of Veterans (form #                    taxes due April 30, apply no later
out of your home before December                   63 0023) and send it with the                       than March 31. This program offers
15 of the year you receive the                     required documentation to the                       assistance beginning with the 2006
assistance. The program helps those                Department of Revenue. The mailing                  tax year.
who qualify remain in their homes                  address is on the claim form.
in spite of rising property taxes.
The program provides payment of all,
                                                   Where do I find a claim form
or a portion of, the excess levies and
regular property taxes due on your                 or ask for help completing
property. “Excess levies” are taxes                the form?
approved by voters at special or                   This form is available from several
general elections. Examples of excess              sources:
levies include operation and                       ƒ The Department’s website
maintenance levies and school bond                   dor.wa.gov. Click on Get a form
levies. Regular levies are generally                 or publication, then Forms by
imposed without needing voter                        name, then select P from the
approval.                                            alphabet and scroll down.
This program works in conjunction                  ƒ Veterans’ Service Center at 1-800-
with the Property Tax Exemption                      562-2308. (The center will also help
Program for Senior Citizens and                      you complete the form and obtain
Disabled Persons. If your annual                     the documents required to
disposable income is $35,000 or less,                establish your eligibility.)
you should also enroll in the                      ƒ Department of Revenue Grant
Exemption Program administered                       Administrator at (360) 534-1416.
by your county assessor. This will                 ƒ Your local county assessor’s office.
provide you the maximum amount
of assistance.


This publication provides a basic description of the Property Tax Assistance Program for Widows and
Widowers of Veterans. This information is current at the time of publication. Future law changes may
affect some of the information.
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                                           WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE




Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible you must qualify in each of four categories.
Category One:                             Category Three:
Age or Disability                         Ownership and Residency
You must meet one of the following        Assistance is available for your
criteria:                                 primary residence and up to five
                                          acres of land. To qualify, you must:
ƒ 62 years of age by December 31 of
  the year you apply.                     ƒ Own the residence for which
ƒ Disabled. A disabled person may            assistance is requested. A home
  be any age and must be disabled            owned by co-tenants may qualify.
  at the time of filing. The disability      Only one of the co-tenants must
  must prevent you from being                meet the qualifications. A mobile
  gainfully employed, and the                home may qualify as your
  condition must either be expected          residence even if you do not own
  to result in death or be expected to       the land where the mobile home
  last for a period of at least 12           is located.
  months. The disability need not be      ƒ You are NOT eligible for the
  permanent. Annually, the Social            program if you own your home
  Security Administration                    through a:
  determines the amount a person             ƒ Life estate
  may earn before being considered           ƒ Lease for life
  “gainfully employed”.
                                             ƒ Revocable trust
                                             ƒ Shared ownership in a
Category Two:
                                                cooperative housing unit
Status
You must not have re-married or           ƒ Occupy the home for at least six
entered into a registered domestic           months each year.
partnership. Assistance is available      Your residence may qualify even
to widows/widowers of veterans            if you are temporarily living in a
who meet one of the following             hospital, nursing home, boarding
conditions:                               home, or adult family home.

ƒ Died as a result of a service-
  connected disability.                   Category Four:
ƒ Was 100 percent disabled as             Income
  determined by the U.S. Veterans         Your annual combined disposable
  Administration for 10 years prior       income may not exceed $40,000. If
  to his/her death.                       your combined disposable income is
                                          $35,000 or less, you should also apply
ƒ Was a former prisoner of war and
                                          for the Property Tax Exemption
  rated as 100 percent disabled for
                                          Program for Senior Citizens and
  at least one year prior to death.
                                          Disabled Persons.
ƒ Died in active duty or in active
  training status.                        Combined disposable income
The Veterans’ Service Center at the       includes your disposable income
Department of Veterans’ Affairs can       and that of any co-tenants.
help you obtain documents verifying       A co-tenant is a person living in your
your status as a widow or widower         home who also has an ownership
and your spouse’s qualification for       interest in your home.
the program. You can contact that
office by calling 1-800-562-2308.

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                                            WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE




How is disposable income
calculated?
The disposable income you receive           and personal care. Personal care
during the year before your                 includes assistance with preparing
application year determines your            meals, getting dressed, eating,
eligibility. You must use your 2008         taking medications, or personal
income to qualify for this grant in         hygiene. Special furniture and
2009. If there was a change in your         equipment such as wheelchairs,
income prior to November 1 and the          hospitals beds, and oxygen also
change is expected to last indefinitely,    qualify.
you may estimate annual income by
multiplying your new average
monthly income by 12.
Disposable income is defined in
statute (RCW 84.36.383) and includes
income from all sources, whether or
not the income is taxable for federal
income tax purposes. You must
include nontaxable income such
as disability and social security,         How much assistance
and you may not deduct losses              is available?
and depreciation or use losses to                                                    ƒ $100,000 of your home’s assessed
                                           If you qualify, the amount of                value if your disposable income
offset gains.                              assistance available is calculated           is $30,000 or less.
New legislation passed in 2008 allows      using your combined disposable
                                                                                     ƒ $75,000 of your home’s assessed
the exclusion of veterans’ disability      income, the value of your residence,
                                                                                        value if your disposable income
compensation and dependency and            and regular and excess levy rates in
                                                                                        is $30,001 to $35,000.
indemnity compensation paid by             your taxing jurisdiction.
                                                                                     ƒ $50,000 of your home’s assessed
Department of Veterans’ Affairs.           This program supplements the                 value if your disposable income
You may deduct non-reimbursed              Property Tax Exemption Program for           is $35,001 to $40,000.
amounts paid by you, your spouse,          Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons.     Example: If the value of your
or your domestic partner for the           It does not replace the Exemption         residence is $200,000 and your
following:                                 Program. The amount of assistance         combined disposable income
                                           you receive from the Property Tax         is $28,000, under the Exemption
ƒ Amounts you pay for yourself, your       Assistance Program for Widows or          Program you are eligible for an
  spouse, or your domestic partner to      Widowers of Veterans will be the          exemption on regular property taxes
  live in a nursing home, boarding         same whether you apply for the            on $70,000 in value and 100 percent
  home, or adult family home.              Exemption Program or not. To receive      of taxes due on excess levies. Under
ƒ Insurance premiums for Medicare          the maximum benefit for which you         the Property Tax Assistance Program
  under Title XVIII of the Social          are eligible, you must apply for both     for Widows or Widowers of Veterans,
  Security Act.                            programs.                                 you are eligible for assistance in the
ƒ Amounts paid for prescription            If your application for the Property      amount equal to the taxes on an
  drugs for yourself, your spouse,         Tax Assistance Program for Widows or      additional $30,000 in value. You
  or your domestic partner.                Widowers of Veterans is approved,         will still owe all regular property
ƒ Amounts you pay for goods and            your assistance will equal the regular    taxes on the remaining $100,000 of
  services that allow you, your            and excess property taxes due on the      assessed value. Whether or not you
  spouse, or your domestic partner to      difference between the amount of          apply for the Exemption Program,
  receive in-home care. In-home care       taxable value exempted under the          under the Property Tax Assistance
  includes medical treatment,              Exemption Program and the first:          Program for Widows or Widowers of
  physical therapy, Meals on Wheels                                                  Veterans, you will still only receive
  (or similar services), and household                                               assistance for the taxes on the
                                                                                     additional $30,000 in value.
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                                          WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE




Will this assistance ever have           What if my claim is denied?               Laws
to be repaid?                            You can appeal the decision to the        Revised Code of Washington (RCW)
All or part of the assistance received   Washington State Board of Tax             Chapter 84.39 – Property Tax
may have to be repaid if you no          Appeals (BTA). The BTA must receive       Exemptions – Widows or Widowers
longer live on the property. The         your appeal within 30 days of the         of Veterans. We will provide copies of
property for which the claim is made     date the determination letter was         specific laws upon request. Call our
must be your permanent primary           mailed to you. Appeal forms are           Telephone Information Center
residence from the date the              available from the Board of Tax           at 1-800-647-7706.
application is submitted through         Appeals at (360) 753-5446 or online
December 15 of that year.                at bta.state.wa.us.                       Need More Information?
If the property is no longer your                                                  ƒ Contact the Veterans’ Service
permanent primary residence during                                                   Center at 1-800-562-2308. The
                                         How do I renew my assistance                service center will help you
that period, the amount of assistance
for the remainder of the year must be
                                         grant after the first year?                 complete the form.
repaid. A lien may be placed on the      You must file an annual renewal
                                                                                   ƒ Download the claim form from our
property in favor of the state of        application to continue receiving
                                                                                     website at dor.wa.gov/Docs/forms/
Washington until repayment               assistance. If you are approved to
                                                                                     PropTx/Forms PrptyTxAsstClm
is complete.                             receive assistance for the current tax
                                                                                     Widows-WidowersOfVets.doc.
                                         year, a renewal application will
You must notify us in writing if your    automatically be sent to you the          For general information contact:
residence status changes during          following January. The renewal            ƒ Department of Revenue,
the year.                                application must be completed and           Telephone Information Center
                                         returned 30 days before your taxes          1-800-647-7706
How will I know the amount               are due.
                                                                                   ƒ To inquire about the availability
of assistance I will receive?                                                        of this document in an alternate
The Department of Revenue will send                                                  format for the visually impaired,
a determination letter notifying you                                                 please call (360) 705-6715.
of the amount of assistance for which
you are eligible.                                                                  ƒ Teletype (TTY) users please call
                                                                                     1-800-451-7985.




                                                                                                       http://dor.wa.gov


                                                                                                          PTFS0051      10/10

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