You may have noticed the ads and the news briefs regarding Santa Fe property taxes. The information has been a little confusing, which I hope to clarify with this message.

All primary homeowners qualify for the “Head of Family” exemption, which is a $2,000 deduction on the taxable value of your home. This exemption is not automatic, you must call the assessor at 505-986-6300. It may have been done at closing, but not always. Worth checking.

Property owners can also “freeze” their property taxes if they are 65 years of age or older, permanently disabled (at any age) and had a modified gross income of 32k or less in 2010.

Veteran’s Exemption – is a $4,000 reduction in the taxable value of your real estate. Any honorably discharged veteran or the veteran’s unmarried surviving spouse may apply for this benefit.

100% Disabled Veteran Exemption – any veteran who is deemed 100% disabled (or the veteran’s unmarried surviving spouse) may qualify for a complete exemption from paying property taxes.

DEADLINE: The deadline to apply for these exemptions is 30 days after the official date of the “Notice of Value” mailing. These are typically mailed around April 1. You may apply in person or by mail. Call 505-986-6300  or go to www.santafecounty.org/assessor for more information. This is also the deadline in which to file a tax protest. Please note that last year’s mailing went out March 12.

Tax Assessor Going Door-to-Door

The Santa Fe Tax Assessor has hired an outside company to perform the “Data Collection Project.” They are going to each city and county property to take measurements, draw a sketch (no doors and windows indicated)  and ask questions if the property owner is available. The city portion of the project has been completed and the County project is now underway. This information will go out in the 2014 property valuation notices.

Letters are supposed to be sent to each homeowner 1-2 weeks before they arrive in your neighborhood.

Reporting Improvements

If you have made improvements to your property at a cost of $10,000 or more, you must report this information to the Assessor’s office by the last day of February 2013. This includes all new construction such as structures, addition and any other improvements. Property that has not been reported may be subjected to the imposition of back taxes for up to 10 years.

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