Homeowners file appeals over property tax deferral changes


Thousands of homeowners have been dropped from a decades old property tax deferral program designed to help poor elderly people remain in their homes.

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Thousands of homeowners have been dropped from a decades old property tax deferral program designed to help poor elderly people remain in their homes.

5,000 homeowners qualified for the program this year, down from more than 10,000.

Under the old rules, homeowners qualified for the program if they were disabled or at least 62 years old and could prove their annual taxable income was no more than $39,500. The idea was that the taxes would be paid back, with interest, after the homeowner sold the house, refinanced or died. 

But late last year, the Revenue Department warned state officials there wasn’t enough money flowing into the fund to pay $20 million owed to counties. A number of factors had created the shortfall, including a busted housing market and a 2008 legislative decision to take $14.2 million out of the fund to pay for other senior programs. 

An investigation earlier this year by The Oregonian found nearly 200 homeowners with houses valued in excess of $500,000 had benefited from the program intended to help the poor.

Read more at OregonLive.com.

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