SARNO PROPOSES EXPANDED PROPERTY TAX RELIEF FOR QUALIFYING SENIOR CITIZENS
December 14, 2011 – Mayor Domenic J. Sarno announced today a recommendation of Fiscal Year 2012 property tax rates for consideration by the Springfield City Council at a meeting Scheduled for Friday, December 16, 2011. The rates would be $19.99 for residential and $39.53 for commercial, industrial, and personal property (CIP) (per $1,000 valuation). This recommendation has been developed in consultation with Chief Administrative and Financial Officer Lee Erdmann and Chairman of the City’s Board of Assessors Richard Allen.
In an effort to expand the number of senior households qualifying for tax relief, Mayor Sarno is proposing an adjustment to the income and asset limits for eligible seniors under Clause 41C. The exemption amount is $500. The adjustments would raise the income limits from $17,000 to $18,000 (after deducting $4158 for Social Security) for households of single seniors; and from $21,000 to $24,000 (after deducting $6237 for Social Security) for married couples. The asset limits would rise from $34,000 to $36,000 for single households and from $40,000 to $45,000 for households of married seniors.
These proposed changes adhere to the five-year plan which started in Fiscal Year 2010. The City Council adopted the adjustments in Fiscal Year 2010 and in Fiscal Year 2011.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated, “the City Council has been supportive over the last two years in expanding the numbers of senior households eligible for relief. I am optimistic the Council will continue the trend of extending the $500 exemption to more households this year. We want to keep seniors in their homes as they face increased living costs.”
“I know members of the City Council have expressed a desire to expand relief to long-standing homeowners, where appropriate, and I welcome their support of this proposal,” added Mayor Sarno. “These tax rates strike a balance between the needs of our homeowners and the goal of promoting a positive business climate in which job opportunities can flourish. We want to be sensitive to the struggles of our homeowners while remembering that our city’s businesses provide the jobs for our residents and face pressures as well.”
Preliminary data indicates that approximately forty percent (40%) of single-family homeowners would have a lower bill compared to last year. The average single-family tax bill would rise by $37 to $2675 based on a value of $133,800. This bill is still lower than the average bill of two years ago, which was $2685.
“We must support and encourage the private businesses that call Springfield home by establishing a tax rate that allows them to compete within the city and in the regional, national and global markets,” Mayor Sarno added. “Adding more to their cost structure in the short term will make it harder for them to continue to provide and increase employment for our residents over the long term.”