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<br />BOARD OF EQUALIZATION MINUTES - MARCH 16,1999 <br /> <br />Page 2 <br /> <br />HEARING <br /> <br />Dennis & Alice Townsend <br />200 Carroll Avenue <br />Port Townsend, W A 98368 <br /> <br />BOE: 98-52-E <br /> <br />PN: 953101 302 <br /> <br />Mr, and Mrs, Townsend were present. Representing the Assessor's office was Assessor Jack Westerman, Lead <br />Property Technician Sherrie Shold, and Senior Administrative Clerk Wendy Ward. Chairman Broders <br />explained the hearing process and swore them in, This appeal is based on the denial of a Senior Citizen and <br />Disabled Persons Exemption by the Assessor's office for 1997, Mr, Townsend is disabled and was receiving a <br />disability exemption up until the time he and Mrs, Townsend were separated and he was no longer residing at <br />their home. Mrs, Townsend stated that the denial of the exemption was based on the separation document filed <br />with Superior Court on which she had inadvertently written the wrong year the separation occurred. She had <br />written the date of separation as October 1, 1996, when actually it was October I, 1997. The Townsend's <br />presented documents which show Mr. Townsend was periodically in a hospital in 1996 and 1997, Mrs. <br />Townsend stated that according to the State Department of Revenue, Mr. Townsend's hospitalization does not <br />disqualify him for receiving the exemption based on residency, She noted that Mr, Townsend was living at <br />their residence during this time, Mrs. Townsend stated that they were legally separated in October 1997. In <br />addition, Mrs, Townsend was declared disabled in late 1997, <br /> <br />Sherrie Shold stated that the exemption was denied based on the date of the petition for dissolution which states <br />the separation occurred on October 1, 1996. The Assessor's office is required by law to abide by the <br />documents filed with the Court, If there is a typographical error, the Court documents need to be amended <br />before the Assessor's office can reverse the denial. Ms, Shold stated that Mrs, Townsend provided the <br />Assessor's office with a copy of her disability statement which states that she became disabled in 1997, In <br />order to qualify for the exemption a person must be 61 years of age or disabled, the year prior to receiving the <br />exemption, Individuals must also apply for exemptions the year prior to receiving the exemption. While Mrs, <br />Townsend does not qualify for the exemption for 1997, she will receive the exemption for 1998. <br /> <br />In response to a question from Ms, Shold, Mrs, Townsend stated that they purchased the property in August of <br />1996, Ms, Shold stated that by law, in order to be considered for an exemption, a person must have ownership <br />of property for six months prior to the year for which they are applying for an exemption and own the property <br />on January 1" in the year in which they are applying for an exemption. <br /> <br />Mr. Westerman explained that since the Townsend's purchased the property in August of 1996, they did not <br />own the property six months prior to 1997 and they did not own the property on January I, 1996. Therefore, <br />they could not even be considered for an exemption for 1997, <br /> <br />Ms, Shold noted that the law changed in 1998, allowing property owners to apply for exemptions in the year the <br />property was purchased, regardless of when the purchase occurred in that year, Property owners no longer have <br />to own the property on January I'" of the year in which they are applying for an exemption for tax relief the <br />following year, This change in law, however, was not retroactive and does not help the Townsend's for 1997, <br />