City Council unanimously approved legislation to keep homestead exemption

Legislation ensures senior citizens don't lose discounts on water, sewer, and trash fees


Toledo City Council unanimously approved legislation today to ensure senior citizens do not lose the homestead-exemption discount on water, sewer, and trash collection fees now that Ohio has reinstated income limits on who qualifies for that property-tax exemption.

Councilman Joe McNamara wrote the proposal, which he said was necessary after the state changed the rules for property tax homestead-exemptions.

The city’s director of public utilities will be responsible for assuring anyone who is at least 65 or is permanently and totally disabled gets the 25 percent discount on water and sewer rates and is charged a $5 monthly refuse-collection fee rather than $15.

“I want to thank everyone for standing up for seniors,” Mr. McNamara said after the 12-0 vote.

City law previously tied the water, sewer, and trash collection discounts to eligibility for the homestead exemption. With income restrictions for that property-tax discount reinstated in Ohio’s new biennial budget, the city law needed updating to preserve the utility discounts, Mr. McNamara said.

Under the new state budget, new applicants who make more than $30,000 a year, excluding Social Security benefits, would not qualify for the discount, which is a $25,000 reduction of the property value. All current homestead exemption recipients would be grandfathered.