Gibson's office is now using the Homestead Credit Finder application from Data Scout, LLC, a Fayetteville based data services company to help identify property owners who have more than one property being assessed in Arkansas as their principle place of residence.
The Homestead Credit Finder provides the assessor's office the opportunity to betty comply with Amendment 79 of the Arkansas Constitution by helping to ensure that only one homestead tax credit is applied per homeowner. Under Amendment 79, each homeowner in the State of Arkansas is entitled to claim one homestead tax credit of up to $350 on property that is used as their principle place of residence. In addition to the tax credit, Amendment 79 also offers other benefits to a property owner; a "freeze" on the assessed value of the principle place of residence of property owned by persons 65 years of age or older or those who are disabled, a 5% per year limit on the increase in assessed value of the principle place of residence of other property owners and a 10% per year limit on the increase in assessed value for all other property types.
"Prior to having access to the Homestead Credit Finder we did not have an effective method of determining whether a property owner who was applying for the homestead tax credit may also have claimed a tax credit in another county in Arkansas," explained Jackson County Assessor Nora Gibson.
Typically, the assessor's office had to make telephone calls or mail letter to other county assessor's offices to inquire about a person's principle place of residence. Gibson's office will still be following up with other county assessors, but the addiction of this new technology will allow the assessor's office to quickly and efficiently search over 2.5 million Arkansas property records, across all 75 counties, to identify and verify the homestead tax credit eligibility of a property owner or a new applicant. Anyone with questions about the homestead tax credit or Amendment 79 should contact the Jackson County Assessor's Office at 870-523-7410 or firstname.lastname@example.org.