LAST DAY FOR SENIOR CITIZENS TO FILE APPLICATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 2009 SENIOR PROPERTY TAX RELIEF APPROACHES
March 24, 2009 – The City of Springfield reminds senior City residents that the deadline for filing an application for property tax relief with the City’s Assessors office is Tuesday, March 31, 2009.
Earlier this year, Mayor Domenic J. Sarno directed the City’s Finance Department and the Board of Assessors to examine any options for expanding or extending relief to senior homeowners beyond what had been currently offered in Springfield. As part of that process, the City remained aware of the costs of additional relief as well as the constraints of state law. State law prescribes how homeowners qualify for relief under specific criteria concerning age, financial condition, years of occupancy, and form of ownership. Additional requirements include the following:
- Seniors must be 70 years of age as of July 1, 2008;
- Total assets, including bank accounts, investments, and car must be less than $40,000 (excluding the value of house);
- To save $500, qualified married senior homeowners would have assets of less than $30,000 and annual income of less than $15,000 after deducting $5,895 for social security. Single or widowed homeowners who are eligible would have assets of less than $28,000 and yearly income of less than $13,000 after deducting $3,930 for Social Security.
- Seniors who do not qualify for the $500 tax relief, may qualify for $175 of relief if assets are less than $40,000. There are no limitations on annual income.
“At a time of growing financial burdens for all homeowners, most especially our seniors who are retired and living on limited budgets, it is important to offer appropriate assistance to those who are most vulnerable,” stated Sarno. “I want to reduce the anxiety and pressure our senior homeowners feel as they try to cope with rising household costs. This is a priority always, but more so as the economy declines, Sarno said.”
The City’s Assessors office points out that this initiative relates to relief on the amount a taxpayer is billed, not the manner or schedule in which they are paid. Tax bills are sent out on a quarterly basis. State law is very rigid and specific regarding payment of taxes and interest due on delinquent amounts. The City receives State reimbursement for these abatements.
City residents can contact 3-1-1 for additional information on abatements.