The Special Homestead Classification (1b) provides a reduced class rate for homestead property of any person who qualifies as blind or as permanently and totally disabled. The 1b homestead classification is different than other homesteads because the qualification is specific to a person and their disabling condition, rather than the use of the property. Therefore, the 1b homestead classification follows the blind/disabled individual from one property to another.
The 1b Homestead classification is not an exemption from property taxes; it is a reduction in property taxes.
Who is eligible?
You may qualify for the blind/disabled homestead rate if you are:
- legally blind,
- totally and permanently disabled, or
- a blind/disabled qualifying relative of the property owner, homesteading the property as your primary residence.
Legally Blind means the condition of a person whose:
- vision does not exceed 20/200 in the better eye with correcting lenses, or
- visual acuity is greater than 20/200; the condition is accompanied by limitation in the fields of vision.
Permanently and Totally Disabled means:
- a condition which is permanent in nature and totally incapacitates a person from working at an occupation which brings the person an income.
- a person who is receiving payments from a qualifying agency because of their disability.
How do I Apply?
- Complete the entire (1b) Special Homestead application (pdf) fully and legibly.
- Attach all proper documentation.
- Complete a new Homestead application (pdf)/(Word)
- Mail the application and the required documentation to the Ramsey County Assessor (PO BOX 64097, St. Paul, MN, 55164-0097) by October 1.
- Qualified applicants will receive a reduction on the taxes due in the following year.
You will be notified of your eligibility within four to six weeks after receipt of your application.
If you are married and own your home jointly, both you and your spouse must sign the application.
If you are applying for the first time, you must attach the appropriate documentation proving that you are blind or totally and permanently disabled.
The onset of your disability or blindness must have occurred on or before June 30 of the year you are filing for the Special 1b Homestead Classification.
Blind applicants must include one of the following:
- A signed letter from an eye doctor stating that the applicant is “certified legally blind.”
- Include the date of onset of legal blindness
- A sight report signed by an eye doctor that includes:
- Details of the person's sight (Diagnosis, Acuity, Field cuts)
- Date of Onset of legal blindness
Disabled applicants must include one of the following:
- Social Security Administration Disability Award letter
- The term "totally and permanently disabled" is not required for SSA letters
- The SSA letter must attest to the applicant's disability
- The SSA letter must state the date of onset of disability
- A Disability Award letter from a different qualifying agency
- The letter must include the term “totally and permanently disabled”
- The letter must indicate 100% disability
- The letter must state the date of onset of disability
Qualifying agencies include:
- Worker's Compensation
- Railroad Retirement Disability
- Federal or State Agency (U.S. or Minnesota local government agency)
- Public Employee Retirement Association
- Teacher's Retirement Association
- Minnesota State Retirement System
- A Private Employer or Insurance Plan
If you are a disabled veteran with a service-connected disability of 70 percent or more, you may qualify for the Veteran’s Market Value Exclusion Benefit, which is a significantly greater benefit than the 1b classification.
The Veteran’s Market Value Exclusion Benefit was passed in the 2008 legislative session and is effective for payable 2009 tax and thereafter.
Property receiving the Disabled Veterans Market Value Exclusion is not eligible for the 1b classification.
Once approved, the Special Homestead Classification (1b) is renewed automatically each year without further action on the part of the applicant. If you qualify for class 1b it is permanent as long as you occupy the homestead.
The county assessor may require you to provide an additional application or other proof, as necessary, to verify that you continue to qualify for the Special Homestead Classification.
Change in Information or Status
The person receiving the Special Homestead Classification must notify the Assessor’s Office, in writing, within 30 days if:
- the property qualifying for class 1b is sold
- you or your spouse changes his/her primary residence
- you changed your marital status
If you fail to notify the county assessor within 30 days of the change, the property will lose its current classification as class 1b and you will be subject to fraudulent homestead penalties as provided in Minnesota Statutes, section 273.124, subd. 13.
The 1b classification expires with the death of the blind/disabled property owner. It does not extend to a spouse after the death and the classification would be removed for the following assessment.