Eligible North Miami Beach seniors will be able to receive an additional break on their property taxes .
The council unanimously approved an ordinance on second reading that increases the homestead exemption for senior citizens $25,000 to up to $50,000 for qualifying low-income seniors with an annual income of about $27,000.
Councilwoman Beth E. Spiegel initially hoped to table the item at the Nov. 7 meeting in order to allow staff to look into the financial impact of the property tax amendments that were passed during the Nov. 6 election.
Those amendments gave property tax breaks to disabled vets, surviving spouses of military veterans and first-responders killed in the line of duty and allowed counties to increase the homestead exemption for low-income seniors.
Spiegel said she wanted to know “what is the actual financial impact.”.
“Not that I want to hurt any senior citizen but once this is in there I don’t want to hurt future residents or future generations if we are now creating $75,000 or $100,000 worth of exemptions on a single home,” she said.
The councilwoman later changed her vote and voted in favor of the ordinance.
The break would take effect during the next fiscal year, which starts October 2013.
The total tax revenue loss to the city would be approximately $24,580 pre year at the city’s current tax rate of about $6.60, according to city officials.
In order to qualify for the senior homestead exemption a homeowner must be at least 65 years old by the first of year and have a combined household adjusted gross income that does not to exceed $27,030 annually.
The amount a homeowner receives through the senior homestead exemption depends on the assessed value of the home.
Homes valued at $50,000 or more are eligible to receive the full benefits of the exemption. Homes assessed between $50,000 and $25,000 are eligible for partial benefits, while those living in homes below $25,000 in assessed value will not qualify for the senior exemption but can apply for a standard homestead exemption, according to Assistant City Manager Mac Serda.
Roughly 85 homeowners would receive the full benefit and about 162 would receive a partial benefit of the additional exemption, according to city estimates.