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  • Doug Smith

Property tax rebate - concept

With Worthington housing values increasing, and with voters approving additional school levies, property taxes are at an all-time high for Worthington residents. It is important to remember that a small portion – less than 5 percent – of property taxes go to the city of Worthington.

Many long-time residents, and retired residents, have talked to me about their concerns for being “taxed out” of Worthington.

With this in mind, I have been working on a concept: a property tax abatement for residents with longevity in Worthington.

I am looking for feedback about this concept - your thoughts are welcome. But the parameters I have initially considered include the following:

  • Owner-occupied property owners (residents)

  • Owned property / lived in Worthington at least 20 years

  • Age 55 and older

  • Income requirement (possibly) – verified through application process

I envision this type of program could be an application-based program available to any resident meeting the decided criteria.

I researched the Homestead Exemption guidelines to see if there would be any conflict with existing programs. Homeowners with a household income totaling less than $36,100 (in 2023) can subtract up to $25,000 off their current home value. The remaining home value is taxed. For a Worthington resident, the $25,000 reduction equates to approximately $800 (using ‘ballpark’ math) savings.

For a local ‘longevity’ rebate, the average qualifying homeowner could save approximately $500 (using ‘ballpark’ math) annually.

As Council continues to discuss residential affordability in Worthington, I want to think outside the box and identify additional ways (other than high-density developments) to make Worthington more affordable to current residents.

There are many philosophical and practical pieces of this concept to research and understand. But I am starting with you…do you think this is a good idea? What thoughts and questions do you have about it?

Your feedback is appreciated.


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