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Homestead Exemption Benefits Available

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Jan. 14, 2005 – Lieutenant Governor Vargrave Richards reminds all Virgin Islands homeowners that they may qualify for Homestead Exemption benefits, which allow qualified residents to reduce their property tax payments.
These exemptions are offered in several categories:
General Homestead Exemption – For property owners who have occupied their homes as a primary residence as of Jan. 15, 2005. Maximum exemption: $250.
Veterans' Exemption – For property owners who have occupied their homes as a primary residence as of Jan. 15, 2005, and were honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Services. Maximum exemption: $312.50. Applicants must provide a copy of DD-214 honorable discharge document.
Elderly Exemption – For property owners who occupied their homes as a primary residence as of Jan. 15, 2005, who are 60 years or older and whose income does not exceed $10,500 (excluding Social Security). Proof of age and proof of income are required. Maximum exemption: $375.
Individuals presently receiving the above-cited Homestead Exemptions should not reapply unless their primary residence by which they were formerly eligible was sold and they have subsequently purchased another home as a primary residence. Additionally, homeowners can also apply for one of the new exemptions cited below:
Disabled Persons Exemption – For disabled persons who own and occupied their homes as a primary residence as of Jan. 15, 2005. Granted regardless of age and disability, provided individual income is no more than $20,000 and total household income does not exceed $40,000. Proof of disability and proof of income are required. Maximum exemption: $250. Property owners may qualify for this exemption in addition to the General Homestead, Veterans' or Elderly Exemptions.
Additional Senior Exemption – For property owners who occupied their homes as a primary residence as of Jan. 15, 2005, who are age 65 and older, and whose individual income is no more than $20,000 and total household income does not exceed $40,000. Proof of age and proof of income are required. Maximum exemption: $250. Property owners may qualify for this exemption in addition to the General Homestead or Veterans' Exemption.
Interested persons must submit applications to their respective Tax Assessor's Office on St. Croix, St. Thomas or St. John no later than April 30, 2005. For additional information, call the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, Division of the Tax Assessor, at 773-6459 in Christiansted; 772-3115 in Frederiksted; 776-8505 on St. Thomas; or 776-6737 on St. John.

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