Surry proposes more tax relief for the elderly, disabled

Published 5:04 pm Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Surry County supervisors plan to hold a public hearing in July or August on a proposed ordinance that would raise the income threshold for the elderly to qualify for a real estate tax exemption.

The county currently allows residents age 65 and up who earn a household income of $35,000 or less annually, or who have a net worth of $100,000 or less — excluding the value of their residence — to claim a real estate tax deduction of up to $1,000. Residents who are permanently disabled and meet the income requirements also qualify for the exemption.

Supervisor Michael Drewry has proposed raising the threshold to $45,000 for annual household income and $125,000 for net worth, which he said would bring Surry “more in line with other counties.”

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With “expenditures going up for everyone, county and individuals, I’d like to see us increase our exemptions,” Drewry said.

According to Drewry, the change would put Surry slightly ahead of neighboring Prince George County, which allows a maximum net worth of $120,000 for the exemption, but still leave Surry behind Isle of Wight County, which allows up to $210,000, and Southampton County, which allows up to $168,000.

The ordinance would have an estimated $19,000 impact to Surry County’s budget.