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County Auditor and Area Office on Aging unveil plan to assist senior homeowners

La Prensa Staff

On Thursday, June 28, 2007, Lucas County Auditor Anita López was joined by Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, State Senator Teresa Fedor, and State Representative Mark Waggoner as she unveiled a program designed to roll back property taxes for thousands of Lucas County senior citizen homeowners.

Auditor Anita Lopez and Gov. Strickland

The Homestead Exemption Program, which López announced at the Mayores Senior Center, is a direct result of the first Strickland budget.

“Your state government is working,” said Wagoner (R. Ottawa Hills) as he praised the spirit of “compromise and cooperation” that Strickland has fostered in the budget process. “It’s a recognition that Democrats and Republicans can work together.”

“Together we have fashioned a budget that will be good for the people of this state and we were only able to do it because we were all able to sit down together,” said the governor. “We were going to have a property tax cut for every senior citizen homeowner in Ohio.”

Beginning immediately, senior citizens can sign up for the tax relief benefits at area senior centers and township halls. The homeowner tax cuts will make exempt the first $25,000 of property value when calculating the tax bill. That will mean savings of $392 for the average Toledo senior citizen homeowner and as much as $569 for a homeowner living in Ottawa Hills.

Gov. Strickland and Senator Teresa Fedor

“We are ready to process those forms,” said López at the press conference on Thursday where her staff was prepared to start the enrollment.

Also in attendance at the announcement was Billie Johnson, executive director of the Area Office on Aging. Johnson’s agency has partnered with the County Auditor’s office to bring the homeownership enrollment plan to Lucas County. Johnson thanked the governor and state representatives for “giving us a budget that can provide services to seniors.”

Prior to this current state budget, senior citizens could apply for such relief based solely upon income levels. Currently about 8,000 Lucas County residents are enrolled in the exemption program. The new program offers relief based upon the homeowner’s status of being a senior citizen.

According to López her office can also provide one-on-one assistance for those unable to attend the sign up sessions. A senior can call 419-213-4406 for such assistance.

For more information on the times and locations of the sign ups, see the schedule below.









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