Senior & Disabled Persons Tax Exemption

RCW 84.36.381 grants property tax exemptions based on qualification in three categories: age or disability, home ownership, and total household income. You may be eligible for this exemption if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are at least 61 years old, OR
  • You are unable to work because of a disability, OR
  • You are a veteran with a 100% service-related disability.

SeniorDisabledExemption Opens in new window
  • You own the home (either in total, as a contract purchaser, or as a life estate), AND
  • The home is your principal residence at the time of filing, AND
  • You occupy the residence at least nine (9) months of each year.
  • The income threshold to qualify for this exemption is the greater of the previous year's threshold OR 70% of the county median household income. County specific thresholds can be found at
  • In Cowlitz County, total household income in 2023 must be $54,000 or less.  This will determine your taxable status for the tax year 2024, and it includes all disposable income (not just what is taxable), including Social Security benefits, pensions, retirement distributions, annuities, interest income, and capital gains. 
  • Proof of income is required at time of application.
Income in 2022 & priorIncome in 2023Exemption Provisions
$30,000 or less$ 39,000 or lessExempt from regular property taxes on up to $60,000 or 60% of valuation, whichever is greater, plus 100% of voter-approved excess levies. 
30,001 - 35,000$ 39,001 - 46,000Exempt from regular property taxes on up to $50,000 or 35% of valuation, whichever is greater, not to exceed $70,000, plus 100% of all voter-approved excess levies.
35,001 - 40,000$ 46,001 - 54,000Exempt from 100% of all voter-approved excess levies.

The exemption is allowed on your home and up to 5.00 acres of land, depending on the minimum lot size required for a building permit. Outbuildings and any non-qualifying land will be billed at 100% on a separate tax statement. This program does NOT exempt property from special assessments such as mosquito, diking and stormwater, or forest patrol assessments.

Once your application is approved, you must renew the exemption every four years unless you have a change in circumstance. If your eligibility status changes (i.e. your income increases over the allowed maximum), you must notify the Assessor’s Office within 30 days after the change occurs. The exemption ceases immediately upon the death of the qualified person (unless survived by an eligible spouse), OR upon the date the claimant moves out, OR upon the date the residence is sold, whichever occurs first.

You may also apply for an exemption of prior years’ property taxes if you would have qualified but were unaware of the program. However, by law, the county Treasurer cannot refund taxes that were due and paid more than three (3) years prior to date of application for exemption (RCW 84.69.030). Prior income thresholds will be applied for income received before the year 2023

Click here for the Department of Revenue (DOR) brochure: Property Tax Exemption for Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons
Click here for more DOR forms and other information related to property tax exemptions for Seniors and Disabled Persons.