‘We want more people to participate’: Richmond encourages homeowners to apply for real estate tax relief program

City of Richmond offering real estate tax relief for elderly, disabled residents
Published: Feb. 18, 2022 at 2:57 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 18, 2022 at 4:37 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The City of Richmond says it wants seniors and homeowners living with disabilities to know there is real estate tax relief available.

Applications are now open for the tax relief for the elderly and disabled program - discounts could be 25-100%. It is a three-year program and the requirements are:

  • 65 or older or disabled
  • Own and live in your dwelling
  • Earn less than $60,000 annually
  • Have less than $350,000 in assets

In 2021, the On Your Side investigators helped Edna Gillis, a Richmond homeowner, who was mistakenly taken out of the tax relief program after more than a decade of receiving a discount.

“We discovered Ms. Gillis was sent the incorrect form, which she completed and returned. Since this was an administrative error, the Department of Finance has reinstated her enrollment in the Tax Relief program. Additionally, she received a refund,” explained Director of Finance, Sheila White. “The enrollment period for the Tax Relief program is Jan. 1 through March 31 of the application tax year, all applications and re-certifications are due during that time. We mail the applications for tax relief and recertification in late December.”

Ms. Gillis’ situation led to another conversation with the City about the importance of making sure residents know the program is available.

“For current participants, the deadline for turning in applications or recertification is March 31,explained Revenue Manager for Real Estate, Reshard Grice. “If they have never participated in the program, they have until June 15 to apply.”

Grice says there are 3,000 homeowners currently enrolled in the program but the city has identified more than 15,000 seniors.

“A lot of people just don’t know, that’s why we are making a bigger effort to spread the word,” he said. “The ultimate goal is to run out of funding for the program so that we can get City Council to approve more, so we can continue to get more people to participate.”

Applications can be found at City Hall, all city libraries, social services and online. There is also an authorization form for a friend or family member to help with the application process.

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