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County taxpayers 65 and older reminded that homestead exemption is available

Bluefield Daily Telegraph - 7/20/2022

Jul. 20—PRINCETON — People who are permanently or totally disabled or 65 years old and older are being reminded that they can save on their taxes by filing with their county assessor's office for a homestead exemption.

Mercer County Assessor Lyle Cottle reminded qualified taxpayers Tuesday about homestead exemptions.

"Yes, when you turn 65 or you're totally disabled, 100 percent, with your papers, you get $20,000 off the assessed value of your primary residence," Cottle said. "Which upon average in Mercer County — it varies from county to county — saves people who sign up an average of $240 a year. and if your house is valued at just $20,000, you owe zero taxes. So it really helps lower incomes. You really need to sign up. It saves you a lot. That money is hard to come up with."

Taxpayers need to sign up for homestead exemptions between July 1 and Dec. 1.

"So there's still time to sign up. Plenty of time," Cottle said. "We just started the week before last signing people up. You don't have to be 65 to sign up as long as you turn 65 before next July 1; so you can sign up this year in order to get onto the (tax) ticket for 2023."

"You've earned it. All you have to do is bring in a driver's license to prove who you are or a disability paper to prove you are 100 percent disabled, sign a piece of paper and we do the rest," Cottle said. "Then on next year's tax ticket, it will give you an average savings of $240."

Many eligible people miss out on homestead exemptions because they don't know that they are apply for them, he added.

"We had a gentleman 93 years old who came in here and wanted to know how to sign up on the homestead exemption," Cottle recalled. "We asked him, you haven't signed up before? You're not already in the system? He said no, and he had heard about it from a friend, and he had missed that all those years."

Ten years of homestead exemptions could have saved that senior citizen about $2,400.

"He just didn't know, and that's a lot of money. That's a lot of groceries and nowadays, that's a lot of gasoline," Cottle said. "I just really like people to know. I don't guess it really takes from the county, but it's still something you've earned and you deserve it. All you have to is come in, we'll fix up the paperwork for you and have you out of here in five minutes. You've saved that much money in five minutes."

"But you have to come in. If you're absolutely disabled or bedridden, you can call us and send your caretaker with your ID and we'll work with you even if we have to go to your home to verify, we'll see that you get your money," he stated.

People with questions about homestead exemptions can call the Mercer County Assessor's Office at 304-487-8397.

"It's really cut and dry and simple," Cottle said. "If you apply this year, it will go to your 2023 tax ticket, and you have until Dec. 1."

Cottle provided guidelines on filing for homestead exemptions.

—To qualify for an exemption based on disability, applicants must have the initial Social Security awards letter approving the disability or a doctor's signature on a form approved by the assessor's office to state that the applicant is permanently and totally disabled. Applicants must be an owner and occupant of the property.

—Applicants must have been a West Virginia resident for two consecutive years preceding the start, July 1, of the relevant tax year. They must also sign an oath stating they do not receive a similar exemption in another state or county.

—Once an application has been made for a homestead exemption, it will automatically roll over each year provided the home remains the applicant's residence. Applicants would need to reapply if they move to another residence within the county.

—If an applicant owns and occupies a mobile home, he or she may qualify for the exemption on that home even if it is personal property and someone else owns the land it is sitting on.

— Contact Greg Jordan at

Contact Greg Jordan at


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