Exemptions

The Orleans Assessing office offers the following statutory real estate property tax exemptions for all qualified residents of Orleans. All exemptions are applied to the 3rd and 4th quarter actual tax bills. The due date for all exemption applications for FY2020 is April 1st, 2020.

Senior Exemption (65 years or older); Clause 41C. The Senior Exemption is good for $1,000 off of your tax bill. To qualify, the applicant must be at least 65 years of age on July 1st. You must have been a domiciled resident of Massachusetts for at least five (5) years prior to July 1st. If you are applying as single, your income for 2019 may not exceed $21,135 ($25,969 SocSec) and the value of your whole estate on July 1st may not exceed $42,270. If you are applying as married or co-owners, your combined income for 2018 may not exceed $31,703 ($38,241 SocSec) and the value your combined whole estate on July 1st may not exceed $58,122. To verify your income, you must submit a copy of your 2019 federal or Massachusetts state income tax return. If you don't file taxes, a copy of your 2019 1099 form from the Social Security Administration will suffice. To verify your whole estate, you should submit statements for all bank accounts or stock/bond portfolios showing their value on July 1, 2020. First-time applicants should also submit a copy of their driver's license or birth certificate to prove their age. If your property is owned by a trust, you must submit a full copy of your trust document listing you as both trustee and beneficiary.

Senior Exemption Application | Senior Exemption Information

Senior Tax Deferral (65 years or older); Clause 41A. The Senior Tax Deferral gives qualified seniors the opportunity to defer payment of their taxes. To qualify, you must be at least 65 years old on July 1, 2020 and own and occupy their property as your domicile. Your gross income for single and married applicants in 2019 may not exceed $40,000. The deferral can remain in effect until the senior chooses to end it, until the total principle deferred equals 50% of the property's assessed value or until ownership of the property is transferred upon the senior's passing or a sale of the property. The principal will accrue 8% simple interest for the life of the deferral and a lien will be recorded against the property by the Town at the Barnstable County Registry of Deeds to ensure repayment upon the deferral's end; the interest rate increases to 14% when the deferral ends. The senior will also have to sign a tax recovery agreement. The senior can choose to defer all or a portion of the taxes owed and can combine the deferral with any statutory exemption to reduce the amount of tax that is deferred. To verify your income, you must submit a copy of your 2019 federal or Massachusetts state income tax return. If you don't file taxes, a copy of your 2019 1099 form from the Social Security Administration will suffice. First-time applicants should also submit a copy of their driver's license or birth certificate to prove their age. If your property is owned by a trust, you must submit a full copy of your trust document listing you as both trustee and beneficiary.

Senior Tax Deferral Application | Senior Tax Recovery Agreement | Senior Tax Deferral Information

Seniors (70 years or older) & Surviving Spouses/Minor Children; Clause 17D, 42 and 43. The Surviving Spouse/Minor Child exemption is good for $175 off of your tax bill. To qualify, you must be a surviving spouse, a surviving minor child or a senior citizen over the age of 70 and have owned and occupied the property as your domicile on July 1, 2020. Surviving spouses cannot have remarried in order to qualify. The value of your whole estate minus your house may not exceed $40,000. In addition, if you are the surviving spouse of a firefighter or police officer who was killed in the line of duty, Clauses 42 and 43 entitle you to a full exemption from paying real estate taxes for as long as you own and occupy the property as your domicile and do not remarry. To verify your whole estate for 17D, you should submit statements for all bank accounts or stock/bond portfolios showing their value on July 1, 2020. For all three clauses, first-time applicants must submit a copy of their deceased spouse/parents' death certificate(s) with the application. Clauses 42 and 43 do not require any age, income or whole estate qualifiers. If your property is owned by a trust, you must submit a full copy of your trust document listing you as both trustee and beneficiary.

Suviving Spouse Exemption Application | Surviving Spouse Exemption Information

Disabled Veteran Exemptions; Clauses 22A-F. Disabled veterans are eligible for varying exemptions depending on their level of service-connected disability. First-time applicants must submit a copy of their DD-214 discharge papers and a copy of the current year's Veterans Benefit statement. There are no age, income or whole estate qualifiers for disabled veterans. If your property is owned by a trust, you must submit a full copy of your trust document listing you as both trustee and beneficiary.
Clause 22 - $400 off to any veteran or qualifying surviving spouse who has not remarried with a 10-99% service-connected disability rating, recipients of the Purple Heart, Gold Star parents and surviving spouses of World War I veterans.
Clause 22A - $750 off to any veteran or their surviving spouse who suffered permanent loss or loss of use of one hand, foot or eye in the line of duty, as well as recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, the Navy Cross or the Air Force Cross.
Clause 22B - $1,250 off to any veteran or their surviving spouse who suffered permanent loss or loss of use of both hands, feet or eyes in the line of duty.
Clause 22C - $1,500 off to any veteran or their surviving spouse who has a 100% service-connected disability rating and received financial assistance from the Dept. of Veterans Affairs in acquiring specially-adapted housing at their domicile.
Clause 22D - A full exemption from real estate taxes is given to the surviving spouse (who has never remarried) of a veteran who went missing in action, is presumed killed in action or died as a proximate result of injuries sustained or diseases contracted during active duty service. First-time applicants must submit the deceased veteran's death certificate and a copy of the Veterans Benefit Statement letter verifying that the Dept. of Veterans' Affairs has ruled that the veteran's death is service-connected with the application.
Clause 22E - $1,000 off to any veteran or their surviving spouse who has a 100% service-connected disability rating or is paid at a 100% disability rating level. Recipients of 22E must submit their Veterans Benefit statement annually with their application.
Clause 22F - A full exemption from real estate taxes is awarded to any veteran or their surviving spouse who has never remarried who was rendered paraplegic (permanent loss of use of both legs) or blind as a result of injuries sustained during active duty service. First-time applicants must submit the a copy of the Veterans Benefit Statement letter verifying that the Dept. of Veterans' Affairs has ruled that the paraplegia or blindness is service-connected with the application.

Disabled Veterans Exemption Application | Disabled Veterans Exemption Information

Sight-Impaired Exemption; Clause 37A. The Blind exemption is good for $500 off of your tax bill. To qualify, all owners of the property, be they tenants in common, joint tenants or co-owners, must occupy their property as their domicile on July 1st. At least one of the owners must be certified as legally blind by the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind as of July 1, 2020. There are no age, income or asset qualifiers for this exemption. Applicants must submit a true copy (not a photo copy) of a 2020 Certificate of Blindness along with their application each year. If your property is owned by a trust, you must submit a full copy of your trust document listing you as both trustee and beneficiary.

Sight-Impaired Exemption Application | Sight-Impaired Exemption Information

These are the current exemptions offered by the town as accepted by the legislative body at annual town meeting. All statutory exemptions are codified in Mass. General Laws under Chapter 59, Section 5. If you see an exemption codified that has not yet been accepted at town meeting, please let the Board of Assessors know about it and we'll try to get it on the warrant for the next town meeting.