Senior Resources » Little-Known Property Tax Relief Programs Help Seniors Save

Little-Known Property Tax Relief Programs Help Seniors Save

tax relief illustration, coins being carried away by people

I recently learned about a property-tax relief program for seniors in the county where I live. Apparently, there are hundreds of these programs across the country that many retirees, like me, are eligible for but don’t know about. What can you tell me about this?


Great question! Residential property-tax refund and credit programs exist in nearly every state, but unfortunately, few people know about them. These programs can help retirees and many other Americans by reducing their property taxes. Here’s what you should know.  

Rising Property Taxes

blocks and arrow depicting rising tax percentages, property tax

Property taxes are a major source of income for local governments, but while they help fund key public services, they can be a financial drain for many homeowners, especially retirees, many of whom live on fixed incomes. 


According to Attom Data Solutions, a property-data provider, the average American household paid $3,785 in property taxes in 2021, but this amount varies widely depending on your state’s tax rate and your home’s estimated value. For example, New Jersey residents paid $9,476 per year on average in 2021, while West Virginia residents paid $901.

To help ease this tax burden, most states offer a number of property-tax relief programs. But states aren’t always proactive in letting people know. It’s up to you, the homeowner, to find out what’s available in your county or city that you may be eligible for, and to apply.

Relief Programs

word tax written on paper and being cut by a pair of scissors, property tax cutting

Property tax relief programs, sometimes called exemptions, release eligible homeowners from paying some or all of their property tax obligation. How long the exemption lasts can vary depending on where you live, and the reason you’re applying for the exemption.


The tax-relief process varies by county, city, or state. In general, you’ll have to meet certain eligibility requirements, submit an application and provide documents that support your request. Most programs will either reduce, waive or freeze property taxes for seniors, veterans, surviving spouses, disabled and low-income residents. 

But there are some counties that also offer basic homestead exemptions to homeowners regardless of age or income, and others that may provide exemptions to homeowners that have recently made energy-efficient improvements to their homes. 

Where to Look

block houses with floating question mark

The best way to learn about local property-tax relief programs and their eligibility requirements is to visit your county, city, or state website that collects your property tax. Most of these sites also provide applications and instructions and will allow you to apply either online, by mail, or at your local tax office. 

Another good resource for locating programs in your area is the Lincoln Institute, which has a property-tax database that lets you browse programs across the country. To access it go to

AARP may also be able to help through their Property Tax-Aide service. This free program, which is available in 13 states (Arizona, Colorado, Florida–Miami Dade County, Illinois-Cook County, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, and North Carolina) and the District of Columbia helps eligible homeowners and renters apply for relief. 


Send your senior questions to Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit

Originally published August 31, 2023

Free Senior Resources

Baby Boomers' Guide to Facebook

Baby Boomers’ Guide to Facebook

Get The Guide
Blessings for Baby Boomers

Blessings for Baby Boomers

Get The Guide
Ultimate Estate Planning Checklist and Guide, 2023

Ultimate Estate Planning Checklist & Guide

Get The Guide
Medicare Guide for Veterans cover

Medicare Guide for Veterans

Get The Guide
Show this content while the ad loads.