WHAT is Homestead Exemption?: The right to own property was one of the founding principles of our nation. After centuries in Europe where kings and lords owned most of the land and only the eldest son inherited property, America offered the opportunity for individuals to own land, regardless of birthright or class.
However, owning property also creates an asset that potential creditors might attempt to seize. The law has statues in place to help homeowners protect their residences from the hands of those creditors. These are known as homestead rights.
State law provides you a significant tax break on ad valorem (property) taxes on property that is homestead exempt. If you have not already, go to your local tax assessor’s office and fill out the necessary paperwork to make your primary residence homestead exempt. You must file on or before April 1 in order to qualify for homestead exemption for the assessment year.
To get the process started, fill out the forms and take it into the County Tax Assessor’s office between now and April 1.
For Hinds County residents, go to this link for a worksheet and list of requirements.
For Madison County residents, go to this link a worksheet and list of requirements.
For Rankin County residents, go to this link to start the process.
Other reasons to apply for homestead?:
- Did you get a Divorce/separated recently? (Must bring divorce decree)
- Did you get married? (Need copy of Marriage License)
- Did you receive a property through a will or court order? (Must bring copy of will or court order)
- Did you add, remove or change a name on your deed? If so, this becomes a change in ownership. Law states that if there is a change in ownership you must re-file your homestead to reflect this change. MS Code 27-33-31
- Has the property (legal) description changed? Law states that you must re-file reflecting this change. MS Code 27-33-3
- Has the occupancy of the homesteaded property changed? (you must re-file reflecting this change) MS Code 27-33-31
- Are you 100% disabled American veteran? (This disability must be service related and you must bring paperwork that states this)
- Death of a Spouse? (You DO NOT have to resign a new application, BUT, you DO have to verify with the Chancery Clerk’s office that you qualify for the same exemption that the deceased spouse was receiving at time of death. Please provide a death certificate of the deceased spouse, proof of age if you are over 65, and or disability paperwork if you are declared disabled. This information helps us determine if you still qualify for same exemption to keep you from having to sign a new application.) MS Code 27-33-3
If you have already qualified your home for homestead exemption and there have been none of the above changes, you don’t have to do anything more. The exempt status carries over year after year. But if you bought a new home in 2018 or one of the above changed, you must qualify the new property for the exemption.
If you are not sure if your land is homestead exempt, call your local Tax Assessor’s office. They will be happy to assist you.
Additional information is available at the following pdf from the state department of revenue by clicking here.
Or call one of our associates here at Merck Team Realty if we can be of assistance: Click on “About” then “Our Team” for an associate.