Surviving Spouse, Minor Child / Elderly

Clause 17E provides assistance to widows and widowers, minor children with one parent deceased and persons 70 years of age or older who satisfy certain residency and whole estate or asset requirements. Taxpayers who are eligible for personal exemption 17E will receive a reduction in their tax liability of $193 for the fiscal year of 2018.
 
Applications must be filed by November 1st in order to have the exemption taken off of the first actual tax bill in January, the deadline for applications is April 1. Filing an application does not entitle an applicant to a delay in making a tax payment.

Documentation


An applicant for an exemption must provide to the Assessor's Office with information that is required to establish eligibility. This information may include, but not be limited to:
  • Birth certificates
  • Evidence of domicile and occupancy
  • Income tax returns
  • Current banking information

Eligibility Requirements


For eligibility, an individual must possess, as of July 1 of the tax year, the status of either
  • A surviving spouse or a minor with a parent deceased who owns and occupies the property as his domicile
  • A person 70 years or over who has owned and occupied the property as his domicile for at least 5 years (under Clause 17E).

Ownership


To satisfy the ownership requirement, a person's interest in the domicile must be worth at least $2,000. A person may own this interest solely, as a joint owner or as a tenant in common. The holder of a life estate satisfies the ownership requirement. If the domicile is held in trust, a person can only satisfy the ownership interest if he/she:
  • Is a trustee or co-trustee of that trust
  • Possesses a sufficient beneficial interest in the domicile through that trust

Whole Estate


In addition, a person's whole estate, real and personal, cannot exceed $43,889 excluding the total value of the subject property, not to exceed 3 dwelling units, and any unpaid mortgage balance on that property. For a property containing 4 or more dwelling units, the value of that portion exceeding 3 units must be included. The value of a person's cemetery plots, wearing apparel and household furniture and effects kept at the domicile should be excluded from the calculation of the person's whole estate for purposes of these clauses.

These clauses prescribe no limitation on annual income for exemption eligibility.