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Hillsborough County increases homestead exemptions for seniors

Senior citizens represent a large portion of Floridians who are particularly vulnerable in this difficult economy. Fortunately, there are a variety of state exemptions and other programs available to help those who are struggling. Most counties have at least a few programs for seniors and other groups with special needs from tax breaks for the disabled to certain exemptions.

Commissioners in Hillsborough County have recently approved a tax exemption increase that senior citizens can apply to their homes. This is good news for those who have lost a spouse and are having trouble making ends meet or with any seniors who need some form of debt relief. The measure, which will take effect in 2014, will allow those age 65 and older to take a tax exemption of $50,000 on their property, up from $40,000.

Seniors in Hillsborough County who have lived in their homes longer than 25 years will also be able to take advantage of a new homestead exemption that is equal to homes with a property assessment value of up to $250,000, as long as they meet certain income limitations.

Senior Floridians may hope that other counties will follow Hillsborough's example and allow them better tax breaks; some similar measures may already be in effect in nearby counties. These types of exemptions vary from county to county. Anyone who is interested in finding out about a tax exemption plan that applies to them may benefit by speaking with a bankruptcy attorney.

Source: Bloomingdale-Riverview Patch, "Seniors Granted More Tax Exemptions," Nicole Hutcheson, Jan. 13, 2013

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