If you missed your deadline to apply for the home tax exemption, farmer exemption or the senior citizen and persons with disabilities property tax exemptions, a bill to extend the deadline was passed today in the Guam Legislature. Senator San Nicolas’s Bill 362-32, the “Responsible Real Property Tax Payer Relief Act”, would extend deadlines for homeowners, farmers, seniors, and persons with disabilities to apply for property tax exemptions. The bill also lowers the statute of limitations for property tax collections from 30 years to 10 years and ties taxpayer ID numbers (TINs) to real property taxes to ensure better record keeping.
The Department of Revenue & Taxation sent a letter to all real estate tax payers to reminding them of these tax exemptions which must be applied for. However the reminder letter was sent in May and the deadline to apply for the tax exemption was March 15.
“Without this legislation many homeowners, farmers, seniors and people with disabilities will be paying significantly more in taxes,” said Senator San Nicolas.
“I urge Governor Calvo to sign this bill into law to protect our homeowners, farmers, seniors and people with disabilities from increased property taxes by allowing them more time to avail of tax exemptions they are already entitled too,” said Senator San Nicolas.
Many senior citizens and persons with disabilities live on a fixed income and the upcoming property tax revaluation could mean higher property tax bills for them. Under a public law passed in 1996, senior citizens, persons with disabilities and heads of households of persons with disabilities have been afforded a tax exemption worth up to an 80% discount on their property tax. The home tax exemption is a discount on the property taxes on a property owner’s primary residence.
Bill 362-32 extends the deadline to apply for the tax credit to December 31 of this year, giving all home owners, farmers, seniors, and persons with disabilities more time to apply for their property tax discount.
“It is only fair to extend the deadline this year to give people the opportunity to take advantage of the discounts they are already entitled to,” said Senator San Nicolas. “As the property tax revaluation approaches we have to protect our homeowners, farmers, manåmko’ and persons with disabilities from rising costs.”
The bill also lowers the statute of limitations for real property tax from 30 years to 10 years. When Rev & Tax goes after property owners for 30 year old property taxes and the property owner disputes it and says they did pay the property tax, Rev & Tax asks them to produce a receipt to prove it was paid.
“It is unreasonable to expect someone to keep a receipt for 30 years,” said Senator San Nicolas. “I’ve had manåmko’ come into my office insisting the tax was paid but Rev & Tax is asking them to produce a receipt of payment from 1985. Any reasonable person would not keep a receipt for that long.” The statute of limitations for income tax, business privilege tax, and other taxes is 10 years and this would put real property tax in line with statutes of limitation for other taxes.
The bill passed 8-6 along party lines.
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