Proposed Expansion of Discounts and Tax Relief Measures

My administration has sent the Board of Aldermen a series of discounts and tax relief measures for moderate to low income residents and senior citizens. It should be noted that these are separate from the proposed override, and passage of these proposals is not contingent on approval of the override. However, I believe it is important, given the override proposal before the community, that these measures are brought forward and passed. I believe that is the responsible thing to do. They include:

Expanding Eligibility for Solid Waste Fee Discount

Seniors 65+ with an income $65,870 or less for singles, $75,280 for married couples, would be eligible for a 50% discount for trash. This is a proposed increase from the previous threshold of $35,000 for single residents and $40,000 for married couples.

Figures are based on 2014 Federal HUD moderate income figures for this region.

Expanding Eligibility for Solid Waste Fee Waiver

Any resident with an income $35,000 or less for singles, $40,000 for married couples, who owns and occupies a home, would be eligible for a 100% discount on the trash fee. This is a proposed increase from the previous threshold of $22,000 for single residents and $25,000 for married couples.

Figures are based on 2014 Federal HUD moderate income figures for this region.

Increasing Exemption for Property Tax Work Program (PTWP)

The City is proposing the exemption amount of the Senior Work-off abatement be increased from $750 to $1,000 per year. This is the maximum allowed under Massachusetts General Law. Melrose property owners, age 60+ or disabled who meet annual income limitations may qualify for this program, whereby resident volunteers hours working in a city department in exchange for a credit on property tax.

Uncapping Number of Seniors for Property Tax Work Program (PTWP)

The City is removing the cap on the number of seniors who may participate in the Senior Tax Work-off abatement on an annual basis.

Senior Tax Exemption

The City is proposing increasing the Senior Tax Exemption from $700 per year to $1,000 per year for seniors who qualify. This is the maximum allowed under Massachusetts General Law.

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