In March a Bill was signed into Law.
Here is the transcript of my 3 minutes in politics:
Chair Beyer, Vice-Chair Boquist and members of the committee: for the record my name is Cheryl Chambers. Thank you for this opportunity to discuss HB 4021 and the potential to make a difference. As a Realtor I was able to witness how the current ORS 311.686 wording affected two senior women.
Velma signed up for the Senior/Disabled property tax deferral program when her husband passed away some years ago. Now in her 80’s, unable to drive, it was time to sell her home. As the sale was about to close, she learned that from Sept 1 until November 15the DOR would not accept property tax payments therefore, would not release the encumbrance on the title. We were trying to close the first week of September and facing the maximum 10 weeks until the title would be released.
JoAnne, the buyer and senior herself, would have no part in purchasing a home and not receiving the title.
For Velma this would mean financial hardship maintaining 2 homes for as much as 3 months or more.
I believe JoAnne was in a similar financial situation after walking away from another home purchase due to maintenance issues, she too was running out of time and money and patience. JoAnne really had no choice but to accept the situation and trust all parties involved. This caused her much stress over the weeks until the taxes were paid and she imposed her stress on others.
The DOR estimates about 2 Oregonians fall into this window of time each year and I imagine experiencing similar anxiety.
I never imagined when I reached Julie Fahey’s office a correction was possible.
I understand the DOR and Representative Fahey have come together and are proposing an ordinance change. It was a timing problem having to do with the certification of taxes. This change will give the DOJ a 2-week window to reconcile the differences rather than a 10-week window.
I hope you see that this small change can make a big difference in the lives of the seniors that need to take advantage of this great tax deferral program and vote to turn this bill into law.