We had a call from DRA today about the “Amount granted per exemption” amounts appearing on the MS-1 for Blind and Disabled exemptions in municipalities that not only have not granted any of those exemptions but also have not even adopted one or both of the exemptions. (Sorry, I tried for 10 minutes and that was as clear as I could make that sentence.) Let me explain:
In the following snapshot from the bottom of page two of the MS-1, notice that the “Total # granted” (i.e. the count of exemptions actually granted) for both Blind and Disabled is zero, but the “Amount granted per exemption” value shows $15,000 and $1,000, respectively.
The above case is perfect if the municipality has approved/adopted the $15,000 amount in the event anyone should be granted a Blind Exemption, and the municipality has approved/adopted the $1,000 amount in the event anyone should be granted a Disabled Exemption. However, if the municipality has not actually adopted an exemption amount for either category then the DRA wants these amounts to be zero. (e.g. If an exemption falls in the woods and there’s nobody there to receive it…. what would it be?)
If your municipality not only has not granted any Blind or Disabled exemptions to taxpayers, but also has not even approved/adopted the amount of each exemption, then in order to help the DRA with some other summary reporting they do based on the MS-1 data, ideally you need to edit the exemption amounts in your system to be zero. (Conversely, if you have not granted either exemption to a taxpayer but your municipality has nonetheless adopted an amount for that exemption, you should verify that the “Amount granted per exemption” for that category corresponds with the adopted amount — e.g. we do not currently have any taxpayers receiving the Blind Exemption but if someone qualified the exemption amount would actually be $20,000.)
To edit the exemption amounts that appear on this report select Utilities | System Options | Exemption Parameters. To zero out the Blind Exemption amounts you should modify the amount for any/all of the BLND# codes to zero. To zero out the Disabled Exemption amounts you should modify the amount for any/all of the HCPD# codes to zero.
If your municipality has not granted any of these exemptions, and has not adopted any amount for these exemptions, and you’ve edited the amounts correctly, your MS-1 exemptions section will look like this:
If you have already submitted your MS-1 to DRA, perhaps go ahead and do this now while we’re thinking of it so it will be all set for next year. If you have yet to submit your MS-1, the above process should only take a minute and it will help DRA out tremendously.
Let us know if you have questions.