Hamilton Co. Offers Property Tax Relief to Low-Income Homeowners
Hamilton County’s federal stimulus funding now includes property tax relief for low-income homeowners, in addition to mortgage assistance and utilities launched two months ago.
“We will be sending a letter today to all overdue taxpayers in the county alerting them to the details of the program and making sure they are aware of its existence,” said Hamilton County Treasurer Jill Schiller.
The program is funded by $ 5 million from the American Rescue Plan. Homeowners who earn 80% or less of the area’s median income are eligible:
- One-person household: $ 47,850
- Household for 2 people: $ 54,650
- 3-person household: $ 61,500
- 4-person household: $ 68,300
- 5-person household: $ 73,800
- Household of 6 people: $ 79,250
The owner must live in the house (no rental, Airbnb or second home) and show proof of loss of income during the pandemic. Up to six months of overdue payments can be covered, dating back to March 2020.
About 100 households have already applied for mortgage assistance and utility assistance.
“We were dealing with property tax payments that were in escrow through this program,” says Schiller. “But that’s for people who don’t have a mortgage or who pay their property taxes separately from the mortgage.”
Schiller says it took a long time to confirm that the ARP money could be used for property tax relief.
“There were questions about the use of funds paid directly to a government entity,” Schiller said. “But since it really helps homeowners, we were able to get the DA’s office to look into this for us. And we were able to overcome a few hurdles faster than we had feared.”
Hamilton County has distributed more than $ 22 million in rent and utility assistance since July 2020, helping a total of 7,736 households. County and Cincinnati officials have had significant delays in applying for rent assistance.
Kevin Holt, acting deputy director of Job and Family Services, says it’s still a problem; it takes an average of 45 calendar days for a tenant to request assistance with payment, while the target is 10 to 30 business days.
“So the important message is that this is not an emergency program,” says Holt. “We don’t just pay your past due rent and utilities, but we pay months in advance. So if you want to come see us, give us some time – and then we’ll bring in a lot of money. at the table, but don’t come to us at the last moment. “
Commission President Stephanie Summerow Dumas said the needs were still great.
“Whether or not we have reached everyone we want to reach is another question,” she said. “And that’s why we’re really trying to get the media out in all kinds of places to make sure people are aware of it, because we don’t want to leave money on the table.”