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Posted on: March 3, 2022

Save on property taxes with qualifying exemptions

Save Money on Taxes

Homeowners in Oklahoma may qualify for a number of exemptions that reduce their taxes on the primary residence, but they must apply to receive the exemption...

Homeowners in Oklahoma may qualify for a number of exemptions that reduce their taxes on the primary residence, but they must apply to receive the exemption.

“Most people who’ve owned and lived in a home for any length of time know about the Homestead Exemption, but we get some new home owners who aren’t aware,” said Cleveland County Assessor Doug Warr. “Once you’ve filed, you don’t have to file again unless you move. There are also other exemptions to help low income seniors and persons with disabilities and there is a special exemption for 100 percent disabled veterans or their spouses.”

You can file in person between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at the Cleveland County Assessors Offices, located inside the Cleveland County Courthouse, 201 S. Jones Ave., Room 120, Norman, or go online to Cleveland County Assessor’s Office website to download the forms.

Homestead Exemption: The Homestead Exemption is for Oklahoma residents and only applies to the primary residence. Homestead Exemption is an exemption of $1,000 of the assessed valuation. This can be a savings of $75 to $125 annually depending on which area of the county you are located.

While you can file for Homestead Exemption at any time, there are rules governing when that exemption goes into effect. You must be the homeowner who resides in the property on Jan. 1 and the deed must be executed on or before Jan. 1 and filed with the County Clerk’s Office on or before Feb. 1. Apply by March 15 to ensure it applies to the current tax year.

Double Homestead:

“An additional exemption is available if your gross household income from all sources did not exceed $25,000 for the past calendar year,” Warr said.

If you qualify for an additional homestead, you will have to renew the Additional Homestead each year unless you are over 65 years old. Seniors must notify the Assessor’s office if their annual income ever exceeds $25,000 after the Additional Homestead has been granted.

Senior Freeze: Seniors can also apply for a Property Valuation Limitation (aka: Senior Freeze) that locks in, or freezes, the Taxable Fair Cash Value of your homestead property. To qualify for the Senior Freeze:

  • You must qualify for Homestead Exemption.
  • You must be the head of household.
  • You must be 65 years or older prior to Jan. 1 of the current year.
  • Gross household income cannot exceed the H.U.D. median family income for the preceding year.
  • The H.U.D. median family income for 2023 is $85,300.
  • You will be required to provide all W-2 forms and 1099 forms or your 1040 income tax return for everyone living in the home during the last calendar year along with your application.

Disabled Veterans: The 100 percent Disabled Veterans Exemption provides for exemption of the full Fair Cash Value of homestead property. In order to qualify for this Exemption, the individual must be the head of household, honorably discharged from active service in a branch of the Armed Forces of the United States or Oklahoma National Guard, and certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as show in to have 100 percent permanent disability sustained through military action or accident or resulting from a disease contracted while in active service and own the property as of Jan. 1. Under state law, the veteran must present an award letter from the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs in Muskogee. Disabled veterans can apply for that letter online here. 

Once you have applied, this full disability veteran’s exemption is permanent as long as the qualifications are met. 

“If you move to a new home you will need to file a new application,” Warr said. 

The surviving spouse of a fully disabled veteran who met those qualifications is entitled to claim this exemption with the proper certification from the Oklahoma Department of Veteran Affairs, but must meet all other requirements such as owning the property and living in the home. Also, a spouse of a veteran killed in action and who has not married again may qualify for the exemption.

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