Council Approves Expanding Elderly Tax Credits
UPDATE: This report was modified at 7:45 am on January 26 to remove an incorrect mill rate reference.
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The tax credit available to assist seniors to pay for their property taxes has been increased by roughly 14 percent across four different income levels. The change was approved unanimously by the Legislative Council at a meeting on January 4.
The change will increase the max available tax credit from $2,525 to $2,900 for those with a yearly income up to $45,000; from $1,750 to $2,000 for those making $45,001 to $55,000; from $1,300 to $1,500 for those making $55,001 to $65,000; and from $800 to $920 for those making $65,001 to $70,000.
The change is estimated to cost $1,417,804 for 2023-24 after factoring in the increases.
There are an estimated 356 recipients for the maximum benefits, 91 recipients for the second tier, 64 for the third tier, and 64 for the fourth tier, plus 37 receiving a percentage of the benefits due to partial ownership of a property, for a total of 612 program recipients.
The previous year there were 568 recipients.
The town is budgeting for roughly $1.65 million to cover the program, if there are additional applications for the 2023-24 fiscal year.
Councilman Ryan Knapp said that when the ordinance was created, the council reserved the right to amend the ordinance by resolution without completely rewriting the ordinance. This gave the council flexibility in increasing benefits to elderly residents.
“When we’re growing the budget amount, we reserve the right every year with the intent to ratchet up the benefits,” said Knapp. “It totally makes sense to do this.”