Gila County Assessor Joe Williams and his staff remind property owners age 65 years or older to apply by the Sept. 1 deadline for tax relief under the state’s Senior Freeze Program.

How does it work?

If you’re approved, it will soften any increase in your tax bill because your assessed value will not increase each year. The freeze lasts for three years, at which time you can re-apply.

If you remain qualified for the program and you renew your application every three years, you can keep the same assessed value frozen in perpetuity.

Approval does not freeze property taxes, as each taxing jurisdiction you pay into can change their individual tax rates each year. Income eligibility limitations are adjusted by the Arizona Department of Revenue each year, so if you don’t qualify this year, try again in 2022.

For 2021, the average of your last three years’ income cannot exceed $38,112 for one owner, or $47,640 if there are two or more owners on title. For more information, or to request a copy of the application, please call the Gila County Assessor’s Office, 928-472-7973 in Payson; 928-402-8714 in Globe, or download the three-page application from the Assessor’s Office pages at gilacountyaz.gov.

Freezing the assessed value on which taxes are based, the program reduces year-over-year increases on property tax bills. Administered by the Gila County Assessor’s Office, the program is designed to prevent residents on a fixed income from being “taxed out of their house.” To be eligible, at least one owner must be 65+ years of age, as stated before, and you must have lived at the residence as your primary residence for the past two years or more. To qualify, submit a completed application along with proof of all income for all owners on title for the past three years. Federal tax returns work best, if you file taxes. Applicants must also show proof of age and proof of residency — a copy of your driver’s license satisfies both requirements if it shows your home address and was issued at least two years prior.

Assessor’s Office staff will tally your gross income for all three years and determine the average.

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