STATE PROPERTY TAX RELIEF: AN OVERVIEW FOR RETIREES

Jan 2007 - During the recent election,
candidates spoke out against higher property taxes forcing retirees out of
their homes. That criticism begs the question: what is being done right now to
provide tax relief.

Over the
years, we’ve reported on various local and state programs that relieve retirees
from a portion of their real estate taxes. Here we’ve assembled a brief summary
of the major relief programs.

As
you’re reviewing this, please keep the following points in mind:

Several
of the property tax exemption (Clauses 17s and 41s) programs and the work-off
abatement program, are subject to local acceptance. Therefore, please check
with your local tax assessor’s office to learn exactly what programs are
available to you.

In
addition to the income and/or asset limits, shown in the summary, each of these
programs have conditions that must be met, relating to how long you owned your
home and possibly lived in this state (domicile). Our office has available
brochures by Mass. DOR that outline ownership/domicile and other requirements,
as well as the application process, for each program.

As we’ve
always emphasized when we reported on the state’s “Circuit Breaker” program, it
is the only property tax relief program that retirees, who are renters, may
also take advantage of, along with homeowners.

Remember,
as always, that you can apply for local property relief and also file for the
state’s “Circuit Breaker,” which means that some members could receive a
combined break on their real estate taxes worth over a thousand dollars - not
an insignificant amount.

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