Tax relief for seniors will increase by at least $100 for the 2011-12 year if the Representative Town Meeting's Senior Tax Relief Committee gets its way. It voted unanimously on Wednesday for the increase which must still be approved by the full RTM.
Currently the tax relief program costs the town about $3.3 million per year. The town received 220 new applications this year.
RTM committee members said in the meeting that it is important for seniors eligible for the program to be able to remain in their homes, in the face of rising taxes due to increasing home values over the past years, since the seniors purchased the homes.Seniors who qualify can choose from three different forms of tax credit: a regular credit option where the seniors receive the money, a tax freeze option and a tax deferral option.
All seniors, married or single, in income-eligible brackets will receive an extra $100 credit on their property tax bills. Married seniors with under $14,501 in income would receive $300 more of relief, moving from $4,100 to $4,400. Single seniors under $14,501 would receive a $200 increase from $3,700 to $3,900.
The committee has been working on the issue since May and held a forum for seniors to speak their minds at the Senior Center in June. The committee includes chairman Hank Ference, David Becker, Alexis Harrison, Christopher Brogan and Kevin Hoffkins.
The RTM will vote on the increase before Dec. 31.
The following groups are eligible for tax relief, with updated credits:
Annual income not exceeding $14,500 - credit of $4,400 for a married couple, $3,900 for a single;
Annual income from $14,501 to $20,800 - credit of $3,900 for a married couple, $3,500 for a single;
Annual income from $20,801 to $25,700 - credit of $3,200 for a married couple, $2,800 for a single;
Annual income from $25,701 to $30,700 - credit of $2,800 for a married couple, $2,500 for a single;
Annual income from $30,701 to $37,700 - credit of $2,200 for a married couple, $1,900 for a single;
Annual income from $37,701 to $44,600 - credit of $1,500 for a married couple, $1,200 for a single;
Annual income from $44,001 to $60,900 - credit of $900 for a married couple, $900 for a single.
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