Homestead
Changes to the Homestead Exemption

The Homestead Exemption is a real estate tax exemption that allows low-income senior citizens and disabled Ohioans to reduce their property tax bills by shielding some of the market value of their homes from taxation. The exemption, which takes the form of a credit on property tax bills, allows qualifying homeowners to exempt up to $25,000 of the market value of their homes from all property taxes. The program offers an enhanced exemption of $50,000 for disabled veterans. 

A provision enacted in this year's state budget bill (Sub. HB33) would annually tie the Homestead Exemption benefit to the rate of inflation. This means that the value being credited for Homestead would increase from $25,000 for Traditional Homestead and $50,000 for Veteran Homestead each year based on GDP inflation. Because of this, those receiving Homestead would see an increase in savings yearly instead of a flat savings, as is current law.

The budget provision will be effective Oct. 3, 2023, and will first be implemented in 2024 for 2023 property taxes. This is the first improvement to the Homestead Exemption since 2007 and a step in the right direction for future reforms.

** If you are currently on the Homestead program, your next tax bill will reflect the the increased savings.  You do not need to re-apply for the program.

If you are NOT currently on one of the three (3) types of homestead programs, please see the details of each program down below. 
You have until December 31, 2023 to apply for next year's tax bill.

If you have any questions regarding the Homestead Exemption, please contact the Auditor's Office at (740) 432-9243, option 1.  Homestead Exemption Applications are available at this link and are accepted in the Auditor's Office via mail or drop off at the Guernsey County Auditor's Office, 627 Wheeling Avenue, Suite 301, Cambridge, OH 43725.


Income Threshold

Your Modified Adjusted Gross Income can be computed by adding together:

  • Line 3 of your Ohio Income Tax Return; AND 
  • Line 11 of Schedule A from your Ohio Income Tax Return. 

DO NOT use your Federal Adjusted Gross Income.

The maximum household income permitted to participate in the program is adjusted annually for inflation.

  • 2022 Income = $36,100                                (for real estate tax year 2023 that is collected in calendar year 2024)
  • 2023 Income = $38,600                               (for real estate tax year 2024 that is collected in calendar year 2025)
  • 2024 Income = To Be Determined             (for real estate tax year 2025 that is collected in calendar year 2026) 

Please Note:

  • Household income includes the income of the applicant and the applicant’s spouse
  • Social Security income is exempt and is not considered income when related to the Homestead Exemption program.

The three (3) types of Homestead Exemption

1.  Means-Tested Homestead

Effective 12/31/2013

In 1970, Ohio voters approved a constitutional amendment, permitting a homestead exemption that reduced property tax for lower income senior citizens. Then in 2007, the General Assembly expanded the program to include all senior citizens, regardless of their income. Now, the state of Ohio is returning to the originally approved system, of applying means/income testing to determine eligibility for the homestead exemption.

Current program participants and their eligible surviving spouses are exempt from the income requirements; current program participants are those who received a homestead exemption tax credit for real property for tax year 2013. Current program participants or manufactured homeowners are those who received the credit for tax year 2014.

For real property owners who are not currently receiving homestead, or did not qualify for the 2013 version, the homestead exemption is available to any Ohio resident homeowner who:

  • Qualifies under the means-test (able to show a modified adjustable gross income* that does not exceed the yearly threshold); AND
  • Is at least 65 years old or turns 65 in the year for which they apply; OR
  • Is totally and permanently disabled as of January 1 of the year for which they apply, as certified by a licensed physician or psychologist, or a state or federal agency; OR
  • Is the surviving spouse of a person who was receiving the previous homestead exemption at the time of death, and where the surviving spouse was at least 59 years old on the date of death.

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

To qualify, an Ohio resident also must own and occupy a home as their principal place of residence as of January 1 of the year, for which they apply, for either real property or manufactured home property. For individuals who own more than one home, the principal place of residence is the home where the person is registered to vote, and their place of residence as shown on their Federal income tax form.

2.  Veterans Homestead


Effective 9/11/2014

Am. Sub. House Bill 85, 130th General Assembly, has created an additional classification of recipient for the homestead exemption and for that recipient has granted an increased reduction. A $50,000 homestead reduction is authorized for veterans experiencing service-connected disabilities and qualifying spouses.

A new classification is found in R.C.323.1 51(F). Under that subsection, a "disabled veteran" is defined to be a person who is a veteran of the armed forces of the United States (including the reserve components or the national guard) who has received a permanent total disability rating or a total disability rating for a service-connected disability or combination of service-connected disabilities for which the Code of Federal Regulations identifies as a 100 percent evaluation. If a veteran meets the definition, that person will receive a reduction in taxes equal to the taxes on $50,000 of true value (as opposed to the current homestead reduction of taxes equal to the taxes on $25,000 of true value).

If the homestead qualifies for reduction under the new R.C. 323.152(A) (2) in the year the disabled veteran dies, and the veteran is survived by a spouse who occupied the homestead when the disabled veteran died and who acquires ownership of the homestead, the reduction shall continue through the year in which the surviving spouse dies or remarries.

In order to qualify, the disabled veteran must provide a letter or other written confirmation by the federal Department of Veterans Affairs, or any predecessor or successor agency, showing that the veteran qualifies as a disabled veteran as described above. Please note the Department of Veterans Affairs issues two types of disability ratings. A permanent total disability rating is not subject to further review by the VA and will never change. However, other determinations of total disability ratings, or ratings of combinations of service-connected disabilities for which the Code of Federal Regulations identifies as a 100 percent evaluation are subject to review and may change over time. The term "overall or combined rating" is used by the VA to rate the level of disability separate from the level of compensation (which also may be expressed as a percentage). Only the rating of the level of service-connected disability should be used to determine eligibility for the expanded exemption.

3.  Spouse of Public Service Officer Homestead


Effective 1/15/2021

Am. Sub. House Bill 17, 133rd General Assembly, has created an additional classification of recipient for the homestead exemption and for that recipient has granted an increased reduction. A $50,000 homestead reduction is authorized for surviving spouse of a “public service officer” who has either been killed in the line of duty or died from a fatal injury or illness sustained in the line of duty, including a heart attack. Similar to the homestead exemption for disabled veterans, the credit equals the tax on $50,000 of the true value of a homestead owned and occupied by the public service officer’s surviving spouse, and no income limit applies.

A new classification is found in R.C.323.1 51(G). Under that subsection, a “public service officer” is defined to be a person who is a paramedic, emergency medical technician (including EMT-basic, EMT-I, and “first responder” classes), a paid or volunteer firefighter, or a police officer, sheriff, deputy sheriff, or other class of peace officer as defined in the law governing the authority to arrest or issue citations. The exemption continues until the surviving spouse dies or remarries, and, like the $25,000 homestead exemption and the homestead exemption for disabled veterans, it is portable among homes so long as it applies to only one home at a time. If a surviving spouse also qualifies for the exemption as an elderly or disabled individual or a disabled veteran, the spouse must decide which exemption to apply; they are not cumulative.

In order to qualify, the surviving spouse must provide a letter from either a state pension fund or the department or agency that the public service officer served when the officer died confirming that the officer was killed in the line of duty.