Thursday, December 27, 2012
A Property Tax Disability Story
I have an experience with property taxes in the U.S. for disabled people (I am.) I bought my place three years ago. My disability is Social Anxiety Disorder. That means I'm not always capable of being in public. It's also Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and I've been disabled since 1996. I've had a lot of adventures and sometimes I think more work and stress to keep things in order being disabled than I did when working. This one turned out well, but it was a long, hard struggle.
(Here in Kentucky, U.S. If a person is Disabled, they can fill out forms and not have to pay property taxes if their property is under a certain dollar amount. Please check with your individual state for what may apply to you. I was not aware of this when I purchased my place.)
*Year 1: This was a partial year, and I had a reserve and paid the taxes I owed for that year upon purchase, no problem.
*Year 2: I found out that, because I'm disabled, if my property was under a certain value, and it is, I would not have to pay taxes. All I had to do was bring proof to the Property Valuation Office. I went there, brought proof, and they confirmed, and I filled out papers. I did that in November after receiving my tax bill.
* Year 3. I received notice that I was in default on my taxes. Thinking it was a mistake, I took my proof back to that office. They told me that the papers I'd filled out during year 2 were for year 3, and I owed for year 2. (Disabled people here don't have to pay property taxes, but because I failed to know and fill out paper work during year 1, I had to pay them for year 2.) I spent last year scraping as much as I could every month to pay property taxes, in person at the County Clerk's office, then take proof to the Courthouse every month, and I got them paid 2 months before my home would have been lost for taxes. Whew! I made it! Yeah! I also at that time made sure to fill out the necessary papers in that November to make sure I wouldn't have to pay them again this year 2012.
* Preparing for Year 4: This November, I didn't receive a tax bill. I panicked. In fear I was going to have to go through paying it again little by little in 2013, I went down to the Property Valuation Office today, and I also had to bring my "Paid in Full" receipt to the Courthouse. (I had put these off in fear. Many days thinking about this, I couldn't even leave my house. The anxiety was overwhelming.) This time, however I got a wonderful surprise! They said that they did away with asking disabled people to keep coming in (I had wondered about people that couldn't.), bringing proof and filling out the necessary papers, stating they didn't even mail out bills. I broke down and cried.! After that, I had to bring my Paid in Full Receipt to the Court House, and I continued crying through that. I couldn't stop. The poor woman who set up the payment plan was so nice. Twice before I left, she asked me to come back in just to visit sometimes! ("They like me! They really like me!" Sally Field) Unreal! It's not my idea of a good social time, but if I see her out somewhere, I'll certainly say, "Hello."
Breathing a sigh of relief, sitting home in my little happy place and sipping what may be the best cup of coffee I've had in ages,