Seniors may qualify for property tax break

Low income seniors may be able to get exemption on taxes related to schools

Seniors who live within the Tahoma School District boundaries and are concerned about the rise in property taxes due to the passage of the district’s $195 million construction bond measure may be able to qualify for a property tax exemption or deferment through King County.

Seniors must meet income and other factors to qualify for an exemption. Those who are disabled may also qualify.

The King County Department of Assessments is the office through which the Property Tax Exemption and Deferral Program is administered.

The exemption program offers a reduction in property taxes and the deferral program places a lien against the property that must be repaid, plus interest, once the person who applied for the deferral is no longer eligible.

Requirements for either program include age — the applicant must be 61 by the end of the year — or the applicant must be unable to work due to disability, the applicant must own the home, and the applicant must live in the home over half the year.

The income qualification is based off annual household disposable income. Disposable income includes social security and other benefits, pensions and other retirement accounts, income from a business or rental and interest earned. It does not include VA disability payments or reverse mortgages.

To qualify for an exemption the household income must be $35,000 per year or less. To qualify for a deferral household income needs to be between $35,000 and $40,000.

Once an exemption has been granted it is good for six years, a deferral must be renewed each year.

Seniors may apply by filling out a form available online at