Misleading cards on property taxes targeting seniors

Recently, senior citizens in Pierce County have been receiving misleading postcards regarding Property Tax Exemptions.
The postcard identifies that seniors earning “less than $34,000 (after deductions)” may be eligible for a reduction and gives the impression that senior citizens should act fast or they could lose out on property tax exemptions or refunds.
Ken Madsen, Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer, wants seniors in Pierce County to know that this is not a Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer mailing.
If seniors are receiving calls for appointments, these calls are not calls from Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer employees.
Pierce County has no connection with the persons mailing the postcards.
The Attorney General’s office has been contacted regarding the legality of the mailing and the Assessor-Treasurer’s office is currently awaiting a reply.
In the meantime, Madsen warns senior citizens who receive such a postcard to be cautious about signing documentation, or putting your property up as collateral without first obtaining a second opinion and/or researching claims or benefits promised.
Madsen warns that this may be an opportunity for unwanted solicitors to gain access and potentially take advantage of seniors in Pierce County.
“We are actively educating the citizens of Pierce County regarding exemptions available, especially our senior and disabled citizens. We want to partner with them to maximize the legal benefits available. Our Senior Department is happy to review documentation and provide the exemption to qualifying seniors and disabled persons,” Madsen stated.
State law clearly identifies the qualifications required for the Senior Citizen and Disabled Persons Exemption. Seniors must be at least 61 years old on December 31 of the year of application. Applicants must have a total annual household income, including that of a spouse and any co-tenants of less than $30,000.
Seniors are encouraged to contact the Assessor-Treasurer’s office or visit the Web site at www.piercecountywa.org/atr for additional information.