DIXON - John F. Fritts, Lee County Treasurer, announced that information and forms for the Senior Citizens Real Estate Tax Deferral Program are now available in the Lee County Treasurerís Office. This program is in addition to the Homestead & Assessment Freeze exemptions offered by the Assessment Office.
This law establishes a procedure by which senior citizens meeting the prescribed criteria may defer all or up to $5,000 of their real estate taxes per year. Applications must be filed with the Treasurerís Office by Feb. 15, 2013.
To qualify, a person must be 65 or over by June 1, 2012, and have a total household income of $55,000 or less, own their residence and have lived in the property for at least three years. Qualified taxpayers can defer taxes totaling up to 80 percent of the equity interest they have in their home. The deferred taxes are filed in the County Clerkís Office as a lien at 6 percent interest per year. When the property changes ownership, the deferred taxes must be repaid.
To apply for the program, the person has to file two forms with the Lee County Treasurerís Office. It requires that joint owners and mortgage lenders agree to the tax deferral. In addition, it requires that evidence be presented of adequate insurance on the property.
Citizens who are interested in the program should contact the Lee County Treasurerís Office. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The phone number is 815-288-4477.