Senior Citizen Homeowners’ Exemption (SCHE)

A property tax break for seniors who own one-, two-, or three-family homes, condominiums, or cooperative apartments.

Thanks to changes in city and state law, the DHE and SCHE (Senior Citizen Homeowners' Exemption) tax breaks are now available to homeowners with a combined annual income of $58,399 or less.

How to Apply for Your SCHE Benefit

Applying for the first time

If you are not currently receiving the SCHE tax break, submit the Senior Citizen Homeowners’ Exemption (SCHE) Initial Application to apply. Your application and all required documents must be postmarked by March 15 (or the next business day if March 15 is on a weekend) for your exemption to begin on July 1 of the same year. (For a paper application, call 311 or visit a DOF Business Center.)

Renewing Your Benefit

The Department of Finance will be mailing the 2019/2020 Senior Citizen Homeowners’ and Disabled Homeowners’ Exemption (SCHE and DHE) renewal application packages on September 26, 2018.

Qualified homeowners are legally required to renew by March 15, 2019. However, we are encouraging applicants to renew early, by December 1, 2018, to ensure that the exemption appears on their annual notice of property value (NOPV) in January 2019 and that there is no delay in granting the exemption before the new tax year. Your application and all required documents must be postmarked by March 15, 2019.

If you need assistance estimating your income on the renewal application, detailed instructions can be found on page two of the SCHE Initial Application. In general, the total combined 2018 income for all owners of the property should include every source of income earned by every owner of the property, including, but not limited to, W2s, 1099s, Social Security statements, and retirement benefits.

For general assistance, or if you did not receive a renewal application and you believe it is time to renew, please email or call 311.

  • Age: All owners of the property must be 65 or older by December 31, 2019, unless the owners are spouses or siblings. If you own the property with a spouse or sibling, only one of you must meet this age requirement.
  • Income: The combined annual income of the property owner and spouse or co-owner cannot exceed $58,399. Income includes, but is not limited to, Social Security, retirement benefits, interest, dividends, IRA earnings, capital gains, net rental income, salary or wages, and net income from self-employment.
  • Ownership: You must own the property for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the date of filing for the exemption, unless you received the exemption on your previously-owned residence.
  • Residency: All owners must occupy the property as their primary residence except in cases of divorce, legal separation, or abandonment. Owners receiving in-patient care at a residential health care facility may be eligible for the exemption. In any of these circumstances, the only person who can live at the property is the spouse or co-owner.

Note: You cannot receive both SCHE and DHE (Disabled Homeowners' Exemption). If you qualify for both, you will receive SCHE.


If your income is between
SCHE can reduce your home's assessed value by
$57,500 and $58,399 5%
$56,600 and $57,499 10%
$55,700 and $56,599 15%
$54,800 and $55,699 20%
$53,900 and $54,799 25%
$53,000 and $53,899 30%
$52,000 and $52,999 35%
$51,000 and $51,999 40%
$50,001 and $50,999 45%
$0 and $50,000 50%

You must renew your Senior Citizen Homeowners' Exemption every two years in order to continue receiving it. You will receive a notice from the Department of Finance when it is time to file your renewal application. For more information, please see the Renewals FAQ.

Visit the Ways to Save page to learn about other tax breaks for which you might be eligible.

If you wish to remove a previously granted exemption, you may complete the Application to Remove Previously Granted Exemption(s).

Need Help? Contact 311 or  Email Us.