SALEM – The Oregon Department of Revenue has started its annual eligibility review for the state’s Senior and Disabled Citizens Property Tax Deferral Program.

About half the current participants in the program will receive a one-page recertification letter containing several questions about themselves and their property. The department will use the responses to verify they still meet program eligibility criteria set by the Legislature.

The rest of the program’s participants will receive letters next year.

Participants who receive the letters have 65 days to file the paperwork.

“People who receive this letter shouldn’t wait until the last minute,” said Bronson Rueda, the unit manager for the program. “They need to meet the deadline or they will lose their active status in the program. If that happens, the state will not pay their property taxes, beginning November 2013 and going forward.”

The deferral program also is accepting new applicants for the 2013-14 tax year. Those interested must file an application with their county assessor’s office by April 15.

The Oregon State Legislature established the Senior and Disabled Citizens Property Tax Deferral Program in 1964 to help qualified citizens pay their county property taxes. Essentially, the state lends the tax payment to eligible participants. A lien is placed on their property, and they must repay all taxes and fees with interest before the lien is removed.

Applications and information about the program can be obtained from County Assessor’s Offices or online at www.oregon.gov/dor/scd.

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