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Prince William to consider raising tax relief limits

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The Prince William County Board of Supervisors will next month consider raising the limits on the elderly and disabled tax relief program to allow more residents to qualify by the 2007 tax season.

The 2006 General Assembly raised the net combined financial worth for the relief on real estate taxes from $340,000 to $540,000. Disabled people or people 65 years and older qualify for the relief if the value of their income and a portions of their property total $540,000.

"If your income is less than $69,200 and your assets are less than $540,000, [if approved], you could qualify for all or a portion of your real estate tax exemption," said Allison Lindner, the county’s real estate assessments division chief. "If you make under $47,700, you could qualify for 100 percent exemption."

The office does not include $7,500 for disability income or $10,000 in a relative’s income, other than a spouse, living in the home, she said.

Assets do not include the value of the home and up to 25 acres that the house occupies, she said.

More than 2,400 Prince William County residents were able to use the relief during the 2006 tax year to save $5.9 million, according to county officials.

If the county raises its limits to match the state’s, county staff expects at least another 100 people to qualify, saving them nearly $350,000 on their annual real estate taxes.

Other jurisdictions in Northern Virginia will take a look at the new limits for the elderly and disabled tax relief, but it is unclear whether any will make any changes.

"We will take a look at it. The problem is our revenue situation is quite serious," said Gerry Connolly, chair of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

"We are looking at revenue growth at or below 3 percent. Last year our growth was at 13 percent,"

Last year, the tax rate was reduced in Fairfax by 34 cents to 89 cents per $100 of a home’s assessed value.

The supervisors also eliminated the car tax decal and the fee associated with it, Connolly said.

cgoodman@dcexaminer.com

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