Sen. Thomsen votes to continue senior tax relief

Sen Chuck Thomsen_thbSen. Chuck Thomsen

Salem – Senator Chuck Thomsen (R-Hood River) voted last week to extend indefinitely a property tax deferral program for seniors with reverse mortgages. House Bill 2489-A passed the Senate 29-0 and now heads to the Governor for approval.

“This bill gives seniors peace of mind,” said Thomsen. “Folks in the Senior and Disabled Property Tax Deferral Program shouldn’t have to live in fear of a tax bill that would force them from their homes. Now they can be assured that their rates will stay the same.”

Oregon’s Senior and Disabled Property Tax Deferral Program gives low-income seniors and the disabled the ability to stay in their homes. The program allows for the deferral of property taxes until the property is paid off or until the owner no longer lives there.

The Senior and Disabled Deferral Program has seen major changes over the last two legislative sessions. The 2011 Legislature attached more stringent sideboards on the program. As a result, around half of the program’s participants were disqualified. In 2012, the Legislature granted a two-year stay to participants who had been in the program and who had been disqualified solely due to a reverse mortgage. House Bill 2489-A removes the sunset on that provision, allowing participants with reverse mortgages to remain in the deferral program.