Why did my neighbor get more than me for the Senior Freeze?

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Q. Why would my neighbor receive close to $800 more than me on the 2018 Senior Freeze reimbursement? He doesn’t pay that much more in property taxes than I do.
— Homeowner

A. Without comparing your form to your neighbor’s form, we can’t tell you definitively.

Some background first.

The Senior Freeze Program reimburses eligible senior citizens and disabled persons for property tax increases on their principal residence.

To qualify, you must meet all the eligibility requirements for each year.

Applicants whose 2018 income did not exceed $89,013 are eligible to receive a reimbursement payment, provided they met all the other requirements, said Alison Hall, a certified financial planner with Stonegate Wealth Management in Oakland.

“It is possible that your and your neighbor’s property tax for 2018 were similar but not for 2017 or vice versa,” Hall said. “Because of the new tax plan limiting the property tax deduction, some homeowners paid part of the 2018 taxes in 2017. This could also impact the 2018 reimbursement amount.”

It’s also possible that your neighbor applied to the program years before you did, so he could have an earlier base year.

According to the state’s Taxation website: “Your base year is the property tax amount for the year in which you first meet all eligibility requirements. You must have 2 consecutive years of eligibility before you can apply for the program. You will always compare your base year to your current year property tax amount. If the current year is higher, you get the difference as your reimbursement.”

Also, Hall said, if your property has multiple owners or multiple units, you receive only a portion of the reimbursement.

Email your questions to moc.p1568988497leHye1568988497noMJN1568988497@ksA1568988497.

This story was originally published in Aug. 27, 2019.

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