Over Age 65? Make $300 for 1 Hour’s Work!

“Over Age 65?  Make $300 for 1 Hour’s Work!”



These days, in spite of fluctuating house prices, the good news is that most homeowners have found that home ownership has been one of their best investments over the past decade.  The bad news is that with rising values, they face increasing expenses in the form of property taxes.  Your property tax bill is based on three factors. 

  1. Property value.  The assessed value of your property as determined by the Tax Assessor. 
  2. Tax rate.  The tax rate is expressed as dollars per thousand of assessed value. 
  3. Property classification.  Most homeowners are well aware of the value of claiming a homestead exemption.  By successfully claiming your homestead exemption, you place your home in a Class III category, which reduces your tax rate by fifty percent. 

There’s apparently a well kept secret that offers a terrific advantage for older homeowners. If you are age 65 or older, you will most likely qualify for a 100% exemption from payment of your State of Alabama homestead property tax!  My partner, Hugh Smith, reminded me of this, then he reminded his parents of this fact and they immediately set out for the courthouse to claim their rewards.  Here are the requirements that you must meet:

  • You must be age 65 or older.
  • You must own and occupy the single family residence on which you intend to claim the exemption. 
  • You must apply for the exemption in advance…between October 1 and December 31 for the next calendar year.

To apply for this exemption, you must go to the courthouse in person and bring proof of age such as your driver’s license or birth certificate as well as your most recent Federal and State income tax returns, or have someone who you have designated as agent who has a Power of Attorney for you go to court.  For future years, you’ll be mailed a card that allows you to re-apply by mail.  It’s important to note that this is an annual process and the burden is on you to make certain you make a timely filing.  If you are disabled, you may also qualify for the exemption assuming your disability qualifies as permanent and total.  Two forms of proof of disability are required.  Examples include a letter from your physician, employer and/or the Social Security Administration.   


So how much money can you save buy filing for your exemption?  We estimate that you will save $65 for every $100,000 of appraised value of your homestead.  This means that if your home’s assessed value is $500,000, you’ll save $325 or more every year.  Okay, this is not a fortune but it’s pretty good pay for an hour’s work!