To be eligible for this program you must meet the ownership, residency, equity and income requirements.
In addition, you must pay your first property tax installment due April 30 and your application must be filed with the county assessor no later than September 1.
Ownership & Residency – You must have owned your home for more than five years before you can apply for a deferral, and live in the qualifying primary residence at the time you apply for the deferral. You must occupy the home as of January 1 of the application year, and live in the home for more than 6 months that year and every subsequent year. However, if you are confined to a nursing home, boarding home or adult family home, you may still meet the residency requirement.
If your home was transferred to an irrevocable trust, you may still qualify. A copy of the Trust Agreement needs to be filed with your application. You are NOT eligible to defer your taxes if you have only a share ownership in cooperative housing, a life estate, a lease for life, or a revocable trust.
Equity – The amount of taxes deferred cannot exceed 40 percent of your equity. Equity is the difference between the assessed value of the property and any debts secured by the property. Debts include mortgages, lines of credit, IRS liens, unpaid balances on special assessments, judgements, and any other liens against the property.
Income – You must have an annual gross income of $57,000 or less to qualify. This includes the combined disposable income of the applicant, spouse/domestic partner and any co-tenants. A co-tenant is a person who has ownership interest and resides in the primary residence.
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. This means all gross taxable and non-taxable income, including (but not limited to) Social Security, retirement, disability pension, Veterans benefits (except service connected), interest, dividends, wages, capital gains, rental income, etc. You cannot deduct losses or depreciation or use losses to offset gains. Non-reimbursed costs for prescription drugs, in-home care, or nursing home expenses for either spouse/domestic partner can be deducted from income.