Eligibility Requirements

What Property is Eligible


The exemption and deferral are available for your principal home and up to 5 acres of land. Mobile homes may qualify as residences for both programs even if the applicant does not own the land where the mobile home is located.

Ownership


You must own the property in total (fee owner) or under a contract purchase. The lien holder or beneficiary must co-sign the application for deferral if the mortgage or purchase contract requires a reserve account for the payment of taxes. You are not eligible to defer your taxes if you have a life estate, lease for life, or share ownership in a cooperative housing unit.


Age or Disability


You must be at least 60 years old or disabled from gainful employment on December 31st of the application year, the year prior to the property taxes being paid. 

Residency


The property must be your principal place of residence on the date of your application. You must occupy the home for at least 9 months each year. 

Property used as a vacation home is not eligible for the program.

Household Income


To qualify for this program, your annual household for 2019, and forward, income may not exceed $48,511. If you would qualify for the exemption program, you must first apply for the exemption program. 


Insurance


You need to keep in force a fire and casualty insurance policy in an amount enough to protect the interest of the State of Washington. The insurance policy must show the State of Washington as loss payee. You must provide the Department of Revenue with a copy of the policy within 60 days of application. If you do not carry insurance, you may only defer property taxes and special assessments based on the amount of equity you have in the property using only the land value.


Amount Eligible for Deferral


The amount of equity you have in your home determines the amount of property taxes and/or special assessments eligible for deferral. Equity is the difference between the assessed value of the property and all debts secured by the property. You must provide current balances for all debts that are secured by the property.

Providing you meet all qualifications and maintain adequate fire and casualty insurance, you may defer taxes and special assessments in an amount up to 80 percent of your equity.