Tim Chitwood

Monday Mail: File for home exemptions by April 1

When streams are ripe and swelled with rain, it's Monday Mail.

April

Today's opening is from the song "April Come She Will" by Paul Simon. I always listen to it around the 1st of April, which will be Wednesday.

Flagger

Here's a funny unsigned email regarding last week's column about Texas' refusing to sanction rebel flag tags::

Doesn't that 50-pound sack of White Guilt you carry around on your shoulders get heavy sometimes, Timmy Boy?

You liberals are all for "free speech" as long as you agree with it.

This is exactly why I've got a big rebel flag tag on the front of all my vehicles. I enjoy pissing you liberals off.

Dear Flagger:

Why would I care about your rebel flag tags?

Homesteading

Here's a reminder from the Muscogee County Tax Commissioner's office:

Mr. Chitwood,

Lula Huff asked me to email you concerning our approaching homestead filing deadline. She has said you have put a little blurb in the paper before to remind property owners that the deadline to file for homestead for 2015 is Wednesday, April 1, 2015. Please let me know if you can assist.

Thank you,

Max D. Patrick,

Deputy Tax Commissioner, Property Tax.

Dear Max:

Well, let's see. I guess first you have to make sure homeowners understand they have to file this only once, if they don't move, so no one who already has the exemption freaks out about losing it or the property tax assessment freeze.

So, the taxpayer must file an initial application between Jan. 1 and April 1 of the year for which the exemption's first claimed, according to www.columbusga.org/taxassessors.

The website says homeowners may qualify for other exemptions beyond the standard homestead exemption, which is $2,000 off the state tax and $13,500 off the 40 percent locally assessed value of the property. The exemption freezes the property assessment as long as the owner occupies the home.

There's also the "Standard Elderly School Tax Homestead Exemption," for homeowners 62 or older, if the income from all family in the home is no more than $10,000. That exemption is up to $13,969. And there's the "Standard Elderly General Homestead Exemption" available to homeowners 65 and older whose household income does not exceed $10,000. That one varies. And there's a "Disabled Veterans Homestead Exemption" that's up to $38,000, but only for veterans who qualify. Also, we have to remind people the tax commissioner's office no longer is in the Government Center downtown, but in the City Services Center off Macon Road. I still see people get all the way through security at the Government Center before finding out they're in the wrong place.

So anyway, to answer Max's question: No, we can't fit all that in a blurb.

Tim Chitwood, tchitwood@ledger-enquirer.com, 706-571-8508.

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