Fairfield County Auditor
Ohio's Homestead Exemption Program

OVERVIEW

The homestead exemption is a statewide program which allows qualified senior citizens and permanently and totally disabled homeowners to reduce their property tax burden by shielding some of the auditor’s appraised value of their home from taxation. The exemption take the form of a credit on the property tax bills.


  • The homestead exemption for senior and disabled persons allows eligible homeowners to exempt the first $25,000 of their home’s auditor’s appraised value from taxation. For example, an eligible owner of a home with an auditor’s appraised value of $100,000 will be billed as if the home were valued at $75,000.
  • The enhanced homestead exemption for disabled veterans and the homestead exemption for surviving spouses of public service officers killed in the line of duty allows eligible homeowners to exempt the first $50,000 of their home’s auditor’s appraised value from taxation. For example, an eligible owner of a home with an auditor’s appraised value of $100,000 will be billed as if the home were valued at $50,000.

APPLICATION SUBMISSION NOTICE

Applications that are submitted before completion of your 2023 Ohio Income Tax return will receive a decision after the Department of Taxation has processed your return and the Auditor’s office has verified that your income does not exceed $38,600.

If you were not required to file an Ohio Income Tax return, please provide a copy of your, and your spouse’s (if applicable), 2023 income tax return(s). If neither you nor your spouse had to file a federal or Ohio Income Tax Returns), the Addendum to the Homestead Exemption Application (form DTE 105H) must be completed and submitted with your application.

FORMS

DTE 105A
Homestead Exemption Application
DTE 105-1
Homestead Exemption Application for Disabled Veterans
DTE 105K
Homestead Exemption Application for Surviving Spouse of Public Service Officer
DTE 105H
Homestead Exemption Income Addendum
DTE 105E
Homestead Exemption Certificate of Disability
DTE 105G
Homestead Exemption Transfer Addendum

HOMESTEAD FAQ’S

To qualify for the senior and disabled persons homestead exemption, a homeowner must meet the following requirements:


  • Own and occupy the home as their primary place of residence as of January 1 of the year for   which they apply.
  • Be 65 years of age, or turn 65, by December 31 of the year for which they apply*; or  Be totally and permanently disabled as of January 1 of the year for which they apply, as certified by a licensed physician or psychologist; or Be the surviving spouse of a person who was receiving the homestead exemption at the time of death and where the surviving spouse was at least 59 years old on the date of death.
  • Have a total income (for both applicant and applicant's spouse) that does not exceed the amount set by the law. **This figure is adjusted annually for inflation.  "Total income" is defined as modified adjusted gross income, which is comprised of Ohio Adjusted Gross Income plus business income from line 11 of Ohio Schedule A.  (This means that the income used is for the year preceding the year for which an applicant applies.)
      o For the current 2024 application period, the maximum allowed is $38,600 total income in 2023.
      o For late applications for the 2023 application period, the maximum allowed is $36,100 total income in 2022.

*Applications for real property are filed in the year for which the homestead exemption is sought: the owner must be age 65 by December 31 of the year for which the application is filed. For manufactured or mobile homes, applications are due in the year preceding the year for which the homestead exemption is sought. Those applicants must be age 65 or turn 65 during the year following the year in which they apply.


**Homeowners who received the homestead exemption for tax year 2013, or for tax year 2014 for manufactured or mobile homes, are not subject to the income requirement. Instead, they are considered “grandfathered” into the program.

To qualify for the disabled veterans enhanced homestead exemption, a homeowner must meet the following requirements:


  • Own and occupy the home as their primary place of residence as of January 1 of the year for which they apply. 
  • Be a veteran of the armed forces of the United States (including the reserve components or the National Guard) who has been discharged or released from active duty in the armed forces under honorable conditions, and who has received a total disability rating or a total disability rating for compensation based on individual un-employability for a service-connected disability or combination of service-connected disabilities.   An eligible surviving spouse of a disabled veteran must:

  • Be the surviving spouse of a person who was receiving the homestead exemption for the year in which the death occurred.
  • Have occupied the homestead at the time of the veteran’s death.
  • Acquire ownership of the homestead.


The surviving spouse remains eligible for the exemption until the year following the year in which the surviving spouse remarries.

An applicant must: 

  • Own and occupy the home as their primary residence as of January 1 of the year for which they apply.
  • Be the surviving spouse of a public service officer killed in the line of duty. A public service officer is a peace officer, which has the same meaning as in section 2935.01 of the Revised Code; firefighter, whether paid or volunteer, of a lawfully constituted fire department; first responder, EMT-basic, EMT-I, and paramedic, which have the same meanings as in section 4765.01 of the Revised Code; or an individual holding any equivalent position in another state.

The homestead qualifies for the reduction for the tax year in which the public service officer dies through the tax year in which the surviving spouse remarries.

To apply for the senior and disabled persons homestead exemption, please complete form DTE 105A, Homestead Exemption Application for Senior Citizens, Disabled Persons, and Surviving Spouses.


 

  • To apply for the enhanced homestead exemption for disabled veterans, please complete form DTE 105I, Homestead Exemption Application for Disabled Veterans and Surviving Spouses. Applications must be accompanied by a copy of the veteran’s DD214 and 
    - The award letter showing the disability rating of 100%, or
    - The award letter showing compensation at 100% and a document showing the approval of the application for a determination of individual unemployability.

To apply for the homestead exemption for the surviving spouses of public service officers killed in the line of duty, please complete form DTE 105K, Homestead Exemption Application for Surviving Spouses of Public Service Officers Killed in the Line of Duty.

  • Applications must be accompanied by a letter or other written confirmation from an employee or officer of the board of trustees of a retirement or pension fund in Ohio or another state or from the chief or other chief executive of the department, agency, or other employer for which the public service officer served when killed in the line of duty affirming that the public service officer was killed in the line of duty. The reduction applies to only one homestead owned and occupied by such surviving spouse.

You may also call our office at 740-652-7020 to request an application be mailed to you, or visit our offices at 210 E Main St, 2nd Floor, Lancaster, Ohio 43130.

Applications for real property must be filed on or before December 31 of the year for which the homestead exemption is sought.


Applications for manufactured or mobile homes must be filed on or before December 31 of the year prior to the year for which the homestead exemption is sought.

  • For the standard homestead exemption, disabled applicants under the age of 65 must complete form DTE 105E, Certificate of Disability for the Homestead Exemption, and have it signed by a physician licensed to practice medicine, or a psychologist licensed to practice in Ohio. In order to qualify for the homestead exemption, the applicant’s disability must be permanent and total, and prevent the person from working at any substantial employment as of January 1 of the year for which the credit is requested.

    You may also provide a current certificate from a state or federal agency, such as the Social Security Administration, that classifies you as disabled, as defined above. The reverse side of form DTE 105E indicates acceptable and unacceptable proofs of permanent and total disability. The documentation should indicate the onset date of the disability (MM/DD/YYYY).

  • Applicants for the enhanced homestead exemption for disabled veterans must submit a copy of the Veterans Administration’s award letter assigning the disability rating at 100% OR documentation granting total compensation at the 100% level and a copy of the finding that the veteran’s application of “individual unemployability” has been granted. A copy of form DD214 must also be submitted.

The senior and disabled persons homestead exemption application requires applicants to report Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) for both applicant and spouse.  We will be able to verify MAGI using a web-based application for those who file Ohio income tax returns. If we are unable to verify your income with this method, we will request that you provide a copy of the Ohio IT1040 and Ohio Schedule A for the appropriate year(s).


If you were not required to file an Ohio tax return, you must provide a copy of the applicant and spouse’s federal income tax return(s), US 1040, for the appropriate year(s).

   

If neither spouse had to file a federal or state income tax return, form DTE 105H, Addendum to the Homestead Exemption Application for Senior Citizens, Disabled Persons and Surviving Spouses must be completed and submitted. Helpful documentation includes such items as W-2s (wages) and 1099 forms (retirement, interest and/or dividends).

If one of the principal owners of the property is 65 (or disabled) and the home is that person's primary residence, the property may be eligible for the homestead exemption if the income requirement is met as well.

A settlor of a revocable or irrevocable inter vivos trust holding the title to a homestead occupied by the settlor as of right under the trust is considered an owner for homestead exemption purposes.


A trustee of a trust in which the homestead is held is also deemed an “owner” who is eligible for the homestead exemption. Consequently, if the trustee is an individual and satisfies all the other conditions for eligibility, then that trustee can receive the homestead exemption.


A copy of the page(s) of the trust agreement identifying the parties to the trust as well as the signature and notarization pages of the trust should be submitted with the homestead application.

Applications are processed in the order in which received. The timeline for processing applications  varies dependent on such factors as 1) the time of year the application is received, 2) the volume of applications received, 3) the status requested (late application or current application) and 4) whether appropriate supporting documentation is provided. 


*Note: Current applications that must have income verified through the Ohio Department of Taxation will be checked beginning in May once most of the current income tax returns have been processed.

You will receive a certificate within thirty (30) days after we have finished processing your application indicating whether your application was approved or denied. If your homestead exemption application was denied, the notice will provide the reason it was denied. 


If you believe your application was improperly denied, you may appeal the decision to the county Board of Revision by filing form DTE 106B, Homestead Exemption and Owner-Occupancy Reduction Complaint within sixty (60) days of notification.

If you are approved as a late applicant, you are entitled to receive the credit on the taxes paid in the current year. The status of your real estate taxes (balance due or paid in full) at the time the application is processed determines whether the prior year’s credit amount will be 1) applied toward the next tax bill or 2) refunded.


If you are approved as a current applicant, the credit will be reflected on the tax bill that is due the following year.

Your mortgage company does an annual or semi-annual review (escrow analysis) of your account to adjust your monthly payments.  If you are approved for the current tax year, you will see this adjustment some time next year. Contact your mortgage company to determine when they complete their reviews.

No. When you move to a new residence you must reapply at the new address the following application period. Even if you are “grandfathered”, the exemption will not automatically be applied. Complete and submit form DTE 105A (and DTE 105G to confirm your grandfather status, if applicable) beginning in January of the year after you move.  Remember that you must both own and occupy the home as of January 1 to qualify for the current tax year, so the exemption doesn’t take effect at the new home right away.

* The tax status of a property as of January 1 determines the credit(s) for the entire tax year.*

No. However, if your circumstances change and you no longer qualify for the homestead exemption, you must notify the county auditor. A continuing homestead exemption application is sent each year in January to those homeowners who received the reduction for the preceding tax year. Please return this form only if there have been changes in eligibility status, e.g. you no longer own the home, no longer occupy it as your primary place of residence, your income exceeds the maximum allowed (if applicable) or if your disability status has changed.