Homestead exemption laws can protect your home against a forced sale to meet the demands of your creditors, provide a surviving spouse with shelter, and can save you money on your property taxes. Oklahoma has some of the broadest homestead protection in the country, covering up to 160 acres of land outside a municipality’s corporate limits and 1 acre of land within a municipality’s limits.
The homestead law in Oklahoma exempts $1,000 of the gross assessed value of your property from property taxes. As pointed out by Chellie Mills reporting for KFOR News in Oklahoma City, filing for a homestead exemption can save you an average of $75 to $130 a year.
In Oklahoma, you can claim the homestead exemption if you own your home on January 1 and use the home as your principal residence. Your home can be a separate structure, condominium or a mobile home located on land that you own. Oklahoma residents who are temporarily away from their main home, for example residents who are stationed elsewhere on military duty, still qualify for the homestead exemption if they plan to return.
Additional homestead exemption
According to the Oklahoma County Assessor, if your total household income is $20,000 or less per year and you qualify for the homestead exemption, you could also qualify for an additional exemption of $1,000 on the taxable value of your home.
Property tax exemption
If you are an Oklahoma resident and a veteran disabled while serving with the U.S. armed forces, you may qualify for exemption from property taxes. Surviving spouses and children of members of the armed forces killed in the line of duty may also qualify for this property tax exemption.
Senior valuation freeze
Oklahoma homeowners who are 65 or older with a total household income of not more than $58,500 can apply for a freeze on the valuation of their home for property tax purposes. The application must be filed between January 1 and March 15, or within 30 days after receiving a notice of valuation increase. The freeze takes effect for the taxable year in which the application is approved, after all the increases and adjustments have been made for that year. The freeze is not at the previous year’s taxable value.
How to apply for the exemptions
To apply for the property tax exemptions, you need to file an application with the Oklahoma County Assessor. You can download the applicable form from the Oklahoma County Assessor website. There are separate application forms for the Homestead Exemption, the Senior Valuation Freeze and/or Additional Homestead Exemption, and the 100% Disabled Veteran’s Property Tax Exemption. Once you qualify for the homestead exemption or the freeze, you do not have to apply each year. Your exemption will continue unless there is a change of ownership of your home, or you move.
Property tax refund
If you are an Oklahoma resident 65 or older, or totally disabled, and your total household income is $12,000 or less, you could qualify for a property tax refund. To claim the property tax refund, you have to file Form 538-H, which you can download from the Oklahoma Tax Commission website. You must file the form by June 30. You have to pay your property taxes in full and attach your receipt to Form 538-H. The refund is calculated by subtracting 1% of your household income from the amount of property taxes you paid, up to a maximum refund of $200.
Chellie Mills, “Saving a Buck: Homestead Exemption” – KFOR
Homestead Exemption – Oklahoma!
Homestead Exemption Department – Oklahoma County Assessor
Downloadable Forms and Examples – Oklahoma County Assessor
Form 538-H Claim for Credit or Refund of Property Tax – Oklahoma Tax Commission