Staying Home: Tax Initiatives Assist Fixed-Income Owners as Property Values Soar
The landscape for property tax refunds is changing, especially for older homeowners, thanks to the introduction of new state and local initiatives designed to offer relief. However, to reap the benefits of these programs, homeowners must be aware of their existence and complete the necessary paperwork.
This year saw the launch of Kansas’ groundbreaking property tax “freeze” initiative, officially termed the Seniors or Disabled Veterans Refund (SVR). Aimed at eligible homeowners, the SVR ensures that property taxes won’t go up from one year to the next. The Kansas Department of Revenue reports that over 10,000 claims for this particular refund have been filed statewide in 2023 alone.
State Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, the main force behind this property tax freeze legislation, anticipates that the program will gain further traction in 2024 as more people become aware of its benefits. Holland believes that knowledge of the SVR program will spread like wildfire, benefiting even more homeowners across the state.
But that’s not all. In 2024, the city of Wichita is set to run a pilot property tax refund program targeting low-income homeowners already benefiting from one of the state’s Homestead tax rebate initiatives. For some residents, the city’s added contribution could slash their property tax burden to zero, an exciting prospect for those struggling to keep up with increasing property valuations.
The motivation behind these state and city property tax refund initiatives is clear: to help low-income or fixed-income homeowners afford to remain in their homes as property values escalate. The SVR program represents the third initiative under the state’s broader Homestead umbrella, which covers not just traditional homes, but also manufactured homes and other types of residences.
In a time when property valuations are on an upward trend, these programs offer a lifeline to homeowners who may be feeling the pinch. Awareness and understanding of these options are key, as they can offer significant financial relief to those who need it most.