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Homestead Exemption

Now you can file for the Homestead Exemption using our NEW SmartFile Paperless web-based filing system!

Lake County Homestead Exemption

Dear Homeowner:

As a public employee for almost 30 years, I have seen the hardships and distresses faced by our elderly and disabled population. Therefore I want to do all that I can to assist these special people to benefit from all the tax laws in Ohio.

You will find on this Web Page all the necessary details that will assist you in filing for the Homestead Tax Reduction. It is intended to assist you in determining if you may be eligible for this reduction, and to answer some of the more typically asked questions relative to this program. Homestead Exemption is a form of property tax reduction in real estate taxes for those who qualify. It is my intention to stay in close contact with those who qualify for the Homestead Exemption.

I hope you find the information provided on this web page helpful and worthwhile. Should you have any questions about Homestead Exemption, my staff and I will be happy to assist you, please do not hesitate to call (440) 350-2536 or 1-800-899-LAKE Ext. 2536 or send  E-Mail or visit us personally at the County Administration Building (105 Main Street, Painesville, Ohio 44077).


Christopher A. Galloway
Lake County Auditor

Who is eligible for the Homestead Exemption?

To qualify for the Homestead you must:

  1. Own and occupy the home as your primary place of residence as of January 1 of the year for which they apply; and
  2. Be 65 years of age, or turn 65, by December 31 of the year for which they apply; or
  3. Be totally and permanently disabled as of January 1 of the year for which they apply, as certified by a licensed physician or psychologist

How do I qualify as a surviving spouse?

  1. Must be the surviving spouse of a person who was permanently and totally disabled or at least 65, and who applied and qualified for the exemption in the year of death;
  2. Must be at 59 when the deceased spouse died;
  3. Cannot be age 65 or older when the deceased spouse died;
  4. And meet all other homestead exemption requirements

Are There Any Other Specific Requirements?

  1. If there are dual or multiple owners of property, the one who reaches age 65 first should make application.
  2. For all forms of qualifying ownership, please refer to page 2 the Homestead application (DTE105A). The applicant MUST BE LIVING AT THE RESIDENCE. Only one (1) Homestead application is allowed per property.
  3. In Lake County, PROOF OF AGE IS A REQUIREMENT. A photocopy of one of the following is acceptable; a driver’s license (current or expired), State of Ohio ID card, birth certificate or passport (current or expired) and must be included with your application.
  4. If your home is currently in a Trust of Life Estate, please submit A COPY OF THE PAGE OF THE TRUST (OR PAGES) THAT SHOW THE TYPE OF THE TRUST WITH YOUR APPLICATION. Per Ohio Law, certain Irrevocable Trusts do not allow you to qualify for the exemptions.

What Are the Total Income Guidelines?

Have a total income (for both the applicant and applicant’s spouse) that does not exceed the amount set by the law, which is adjusted annually for inflation.  “Total income” is defined in R.C. 323.151(C) to be the Ohio Adjusted Gross Income (OAGI) of the owner and spouse for the year preceding the year in which a homestead application is made.  The current maximum allowed is $36,100 for the 2023 application period. The maximum allowed for the 2024 application period is $38,600.

Note: Homeowners who received a homestead exemption credit for tax year 2013 will not be subject to the income requirement even if they move to another Ohio residence. In other words, the grandfather status is “portable”                                                                    

What Are The Time Limits For Applications To Be Filed?

Applications for the Homestead program are processed by the County Auditor’s Office and may be filed all year for both Real Property and Manufactured Homes. Due to the wage qualifications, we do urge you to wait until after you have filed your State Income Tax return.

Since manufactured homeowners pay their taxes currently, they must file for their Homestead Exemption in the year prior to the year for which the reduction is requested to get the benefit on their tax bills.

If My Application Has Been Accepted, How Will I Be Notified?

The Auditor’s Office, will review the information you provide and, based on Ohio Laws, will determine if you qualify for the Homestead Exemption. If you have qualified, the exemption will appear on the tax bill which you receive the following January. You will be notified before the end of the year in which you filed only if your application has been denied.

Does the Homestead Exemption have an effect on other Real Estate Tax Reduction that I am Presently Receiving?

The Homestead Exemption is an additional reduction in real estate taxes beyond the other property tax deductions and rollbacks. You will continue to receive other property tax reductions and rollbacks that you are presently eligible to receive.

All homeowners who qualify for the homestead exemption will receive a flat $26,200 property tax exemption on the market value of their home.  The exact amount of savings from the exemption will vary from community to community based on local tax rates.

What Is The Penalty For Providing False Information?

If false information is provided on an application for the Homestead Exemption, the applicant will be ineligible to receive the exemption for the next three years and may be subject to a fine.

You affirm, under penalty of perjury, that you did not acquire the home from another person, not your spouse, or a relative for the purpose of qualifying for the Homestead Exemption. Moreover, a conviction of willfully falsifying information to obtain a reduction in assessed value, or failing to report any changes in total income, ownership, disability, or other relevant information on a timely filed continuing application shall result in ineligibility for a period of three years.


 How May I Obtain An Application?

Any information regarding the Homestead Exemption program may be obtained from the Lake County Auditor’s Office by mail, by phone or in person. You can also download the form(s) from the Auditor’s web site at the bottom under Documents and Forms heading.

You can file online by using our new Smartfile system.

You can also complete the fillable application and submit by mail or in person.

By Mail:
Christopher A. Galloway
Lake County Auditor
105 E. Main Street
Painesville, OH 44077
Attn: Homestead Dept.

In person:
Lake County Administration Building
Auditor’s Homestead Dept.
105 Main Street C101
Painesville, Ohio 44077-3414

8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Monday thru Friday