This report presents the results of an Oregon State University survey of participants in
Oregon’s Property Tax Deferral for Disabled and Senior Citizens Program. Participants
were asked a series of questions regarding their participation in the program, themortgages and liens they had their home, their income from various sources, their household expenses, and their location, marital status, level of education, and number of people in the household.Key findings from the survey include:
Half of all respondents received less than $15,000 in income in 2011, and morethan 85% received less than $25,000.
Respondents are overwhelmingly long-term homeowners. More than 80%purchased their homes more than a decade ago, and over half have been in their homes for more than 20 years.
Those who entered the program in the past five years are also long-termhomeowners, but have somewhat higher incomes than longer-term participants.
More than half of all respondents with reverse mortgages have no liens or other mortgages on their homes, but 43% are still paying off their first mortgages.
The most common challenges to remaining in the home, aside from propertytaxes, include health, medical expenses, and home maintenance.The results suggest that the Property Tax Deferral Program is helping a large number of long-time, low-income homeowners remain in their homes. Given the low overallincomes of the respondents, it is likely that property taxes constitute a significantexpense that respondents might struggle to meet without the Tax Deferral Program.The results also show that participants who entered the program in the past five yearsare generally similar to long-term participants. While respondents who have enrolledrecently report somewhat higher incomes than longer-term participants, they are largelylong-term homeowners, with 46% having owned their homes since at least 1990, andnearly three-quarters having owned since at least 2000. About one-fifth of the participants in the program have reverse mortgages. Just over half of respondents with reverse mortgages have no other liabilities on their home; 43% arestill paying for their first mortgage. Although it is unknown how much of each
respondent’s home equity was included in the line of credit, outstanding li
nes of creditare relatively small: over 80% of those with reverse mortgages have less than $50,000remaining on their line of credit. Over half of those with reverse mortgages have ownedtheir homes for 20 years or more, meaning that losing the property tax deferral would bea hardship for many of the long-term homeowners that the program seeks to support.