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Tax Relief Programs for Seniors

Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg and Other Localities Offer Elderly Exemptions

By:

Have you ever heard of an “elderly exemption?”  There are actually tax relief programs available through local jurisdictions to senior citizens (as well as disabled persons) who meet certain qualifying criteria.

Shown below is the information provided by Gloucester, Hampton, Isle of Wight County, James City County, New Kent County, Newport News, the City of Williamsburg and York County (in that order).

Gloucester

Eligibility Requirements for Tax Relief for the Elderly & Disabled

The applicant(s) must be a homeowner in Gloucester County, Virginia and live in the dwelling for which the affidavit is being made for tax relief.

 

Minimum Age ~ Elderly: 65 (as of December 31st of the previous tax year)

 

Minimum Age ~ Disabled:  None

 

Income:  Total maximum combined gross income of previous year:

 

1 Eligible Owner                                             Amount of Exemption

$25,001 - $32,000/Yr                                      $600.00

$20,001 - $25,000/Yr                                      $775.00

$0 - $20,000/Yr                                               100% of Tax Due

* All income from applicants and relatives living in the household is counted, which includes wages, social security, interest, fuel assistance, food stamps, dividends, rents, etc. $3,000 exempt other than spouse, and $5,000 exempt for disabled applicants.

Financial Worth/Assets:  Combined maximum financial worth (or assets) not to exceed $100,000, excluding the value of dwelling and up to ten (10) acres of land. NOTE: VEHICLES: We will figure the value of your vehicles in the financial worth section.

 

Income Tax: Please file your Federal Tax Return before you submit this application. If you are required to file a Federal Tax Return, you must provide a copy of your Tax Return along with this affidavit. For those not required to file, proof of income will be sufficient proof to qualify.

 

Disabled Status: must have certificates or letters stating total and/or permanent disability from one of the following: (you are only required to qualify once for disability) 

• Two letters from different medical doctors who have a license to practice medicine in VA; or

• Certification by the Department of Veteran Affairs; or

• Certification by the Railroad Retirement Board; or

• One letter from the Department of Social Security

 

The annual certification/affidavit deadline is April 1st. The deadline for new/first time applicants is May 1st. An extension may be granted for hardships. A hardship is defined as failure on the part of the taxpayer to comply with the requirements of this division due to a medically determinable physical or mental impairment on the date the obligation is due. Proof of such impairment shall be the responsibility of the taxpayer and shall satisfy the Commissioner. Proof of hardship shall be liberally construed consistent with the purpose of this division. Such hardship shall be deemed to apply to the legal guardian or other fiduciary handling the taxpayer’s affairs, as well to the taxpayer personally.

Questions, please call 693-1324 or e-mail to [email protected]

Hampton 

Minimum qualifications include:  Must be 65 years of age as of December 31st of the preceding tax year or permanently and totally disabled and must own (or partially own) & occupy the dwelling which they are applying for tax relief.

There are three levels of relief:

  1. Tier I (Exemption)
     

    1. Have an annual combined income not to exceed $30,000 from all sources; including all relatives living in the same house (the first $7,000 is not included for each relative - excluding spouse).
       
      1. When annual combined income is $21,000 or less, and all other requirements are met, the total real estate tax is exempted.
      2. When annual combined income is over $21,000 but less than $30,000, the tax is figured on a graduated scale with a minimum tax of $25.00.
         
    2. Net combined financial worth (excluding home) may not be more than $100,000.
       
  2. Tier II (Freeze) - Taxes are 'frozen' based upon value at time of qualification for the previous year.
     
    1. Have an annual combined income not to exceed $50,000 from all sources; including all relatives living in the same house (the first $7,000 of income is not included for each relative - excluding spouse).
    2. Net combined financial worth (excluding home) may not be more than $175,000.
       
  3. Tier III (Deferral) - All or any portion of taxes can be deferred; taxes become a lien on the property to be paid back when property becomes ineligible for the program or is sold. Deferred amount accrues at 8% interest per year.
     
    1. Have an annual combined income not to exceed $50,000 from all sources; including all relatives living in the same house (the first $7,000 of income is not included for each relative - excluding spouse).
    2. Net combined financial worth (excluding home) may not be more than $200,000.
    3. Verification of all statements is required.
    4. Apply annually hereafter during the months of February, March, or April.

Applications and information can be obtained by calling: 311 or (757) 727-8311.

Isle of Wight

A deferral or exemption of real estate tax may be available to qualifying low income citizens 65 years of age or older or to those who are totally disabled. The application should be filed by October 1 and renewed annually. Please contact the Commissioner of the Revenue's Office for additional information.

James City County

You may be eligible if:

  • You own and live on the property in James City County

  • You are 65 years old or older by July 1 or you are permanently and totally disabled. Your disability must be verified by a letter from the Social Security Administration or the Veterans Administration or two letters from two qualified physicians stating your disability.

 Other qualifications you must meet include:

  • Total combined annual income of household members cannot exceed $45,000.00; provided, that the first $6,500.00 of income of each relative, other than spouse, or the owner of owners who are living in the dwelling shall not be included in such total. This income can include, but is not limited to social security payments, gifts, proceeds or insurance, welfare receipts, and benefits under the State supplemental retirement system.

  • Total combined net worth such as stocks, bonds, bank accounts, etc. cannot exceed $200,000.00. This does not include the value of the house and ten acres of land.

The application for this tax relief must be completed between January 1 and June 1 of each year. Person(s) qualifying shall be exempt from real estate taxes in an amount not to exceed the annual real estate rate multiplied by the first $120,000.00 of assessed real estate value.

New Kent County

There are two tax relief programs offered in New Kent County. The first is the Tax Exemption Program. If you qualify for this program, a maximum of $500 could be exempted on your tax bill. You would be responsible to pay any amount of tax over $500. This exemption does not have to be paid back. The second program available is the Tax Deferral Program. If you qualify for this program, all of the tax due is deferred. The deferred taxes including interest must be paid back within 1 year of the participant's death.

To qualify for the Tax Exemption Program:

    • Must be of age 65 or totally disabled no later than December 31 of preceding year

    • The applicant must be the owner or partial owner of the real estate no later than January 1 of the taxable year.

    • Dwelling must be occupied as the sole dwelling of the applicant.

    • Dwelling may include mobile homes.

    • Individual annual gross income of applicant shall not exceed $35,000, and the combined gross income of the household shall not exceed $50,000. The following exclusions from income apply: (1) an amount of $10,000 of income from all non-spouse relatives living in the household; (2) an amount of $10,000 of income for a permanently disabled owner; and (3) all of the income of a person qualifying as a caretaker of the owner as set forth in Section 58.1-3211.1(b) of the Code of Virginia

    • The total combined financial worth of the owner as of December 31 of the preceding year shall not exceed $75,000. Total financial worth shall include the value of all assets, including equitable interest, of the owners, but shall exclude the fair market value of the dwelling and up to ten acres of land immediately surrounding the dwelling. Value of household furnishings shall also be excluded.

    • Must apply by May 1 of each tax year.

To qualify for the Tax Deferral Program:

    • Must be of age 65 or totally disabled no later than December 31 of preceding year

    • The applicant must be the owner or partial owner of the real estate no later than January 1 of the taxable year.

    • Dwelling must be occupied as the sole dwelling of the applicant.

    • Dwelling may include mobile homes.

    • Combined annual gross income not to exceed $15,000. To include all income from all sources of the owner and the owner's relatives living in the dwelling. The first $4,000 of a relative's income is excluded.

    • The total combined financial worth of the owner as of December 31 of the preceding year not to exceed $50,000. Total financial worth shall include the value of all assets, including equitable interest, of the owners, and shall exclude the fair market value of the dwelling and up to one acre of land.

    • Must apply by May 1 of each tax year.

How do I apply for tax relief?  You may visit our forms online, visit our office or call and request an application. If you participated in a tax relief program the preceding year, you will automatically be mailed an application the next year.

What is the maximum amount of tax relief I can receive?  Exemption- Maximum $500 tax relief,
Deferral- No Limit

Newport News

Real Estate Tax Relief for the elderly and disabled provides relief from paying real estate taxes. You may be granted full relief or partial relief, depending upon your income and other criteria outlined below. 


Criteria for Receiving Tax Relief

    • You must be a Newport News resident and own your home with your name on the deed.
    • You must be 65 or older by December 31 of the prior calendar year or have a 100% total and  permanent disability determined by Social Security, Veterans Administration, Railroad Retirement Board or notarized affidavits from two medical doctors licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
    • Your combined gross annual income must meet the following income guidelines.  As of December 31, if your annual gross income was $31,931 or less, you may qualify for full relief. If your income was $31,932 to $50,000, you may qualify for partial relief up to $1,100 if your tax bill exceeds two and one-half percent of annual gross income.  For partial relief, you may also choose to defer any tax not granted relief.
    • The value of homeowner assets cannot exceed $200,000 the year before you apply for relief.  Assets include checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposits, saving certificates, Individual Retirement Accounts, annuities, stocks and bonds, automobiles, boats, recreation vehicles, life insurance, non-exempt real estate property and the like.

Applying for Real Estate Tax Relief. Questions: call (757)926-3535.  An application may be obtained via download or by contacting the Commissioner of the Revenue.

  • You may apply for tax relief beginning January 1 until August 31 each calendar year.
  • If you were granted tax relief last year, you will receive an application for tax relief in the mail in January of each calendar year. 
  • You may request that an application be mailed to you by calling (757) 926-3535.
  • You may also pick up an application at our two locations.  At our main office of the Commissioner of the Revenue at 2400 Washington Ave and at our satellite office at 12912 Jefferson Ave in Newport News.
  • A notarized, completed and signed application for real estate tax relief should be delivered to the following office location starting January 1 but no later than August 31 of each calendar year.
    • Newport News residents may also drop off their notarized, completed and signed application at our Commissioner of the Revenue's satellite office at 12912 Jefferson Avenue in Newport News.
    • A representative from the Office of the Commissioner of the Revenue will determine if you are eligible for tax relief.  We can also help you if you need assistance completing your annual application for tax relief and will notarize your application for tax relief free of charge.
    • If you have any questions regarding this information, please call our office at (757) 926-3535 or email us at [email protected].

Poquoson

City of Poquoson residents aged 65 or over and certain disabled persons may be eligible for exemption and/or deferral of real estate tax depending upon their annual income and assets (not including the value of the home).  Applications for tax relief must be filed each year with the Commissioner of the Revenue.  Further information on the program is available by calling the Commissioner’s Office at (757) 868-3020.

Williamsburg

Williamsburg Code Section 18-54 allows for the deferral of taxes on real property owned by and occupied as the sole dwelling of persons who are at least 65 years of age or permanently and totally disabled, subject to maximum income and net worth limits allowed by State code.  The total taxes and interest charges of two percent per year are due upon the sale of the dwelling, the death of the last owner thereof who qualifies for deferral, or by virtue of a recovery that no longer causes the owner to be permanently and totally disabled.

Income limits for Fiscal Year 2011 are:

Family size                Income limit              Family size                Income limit
1 Person                    $50,000                      5 Person                    $70,000
2 Person                    $51,850                      6 Person                    $75,200
3 Person                    $58,350                      7 Person                    $80,400
4 Person                    $64,800                      8 Person                    $85,550

Net financial worth as of December 31, 2009 may not exceed $228,798, excluding the value of the dwelling and the land, not exceeding ten acres.

City staff members are available to answer questions and assist with the application process:

  1. In the Real Estate Assessment Office in the Municipal Building at 401 Lafayette Street during regular office hours – Monday-Friday – 8:00am to 4:30pm

  2. By calling the Real Estate Assessment Office at 757-220-6185

York County

Tax Relief - York County residents age 65 or over and certain disabled persons may be eligible for relief of real estate tax depending upon their annual income and assets. Applications for tax relief must be filed each year. For further information please contact the Commissioner of the Revenue at 757-890-3382.

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