SOUTHINGTON - The Town Council approved three proposals to provide tax relief for elderly and disabled residents at their meeting Tuesday and additional relief for volunteer first responders.
The council unanimously approved the proposals, which Town Manager Mark Sciota said will take effect 20 days from Friday.
The first relief will provide a $1,000 assessment exemption for the permanently and totally disabled with income less than $16,000 a year if married or $14,000 if single. A total of 176 people have applied for this exemption, which will result in a $5,395 tax implication.
The second relief is a “circuit breaker freeze,” freezing taxes at the existing rate with a lien on the property, for residents older than 70 who have been living in their home for more than a year and who make less than $50,900 a year if married or $43,000 if single. There will be no tax implication for this, as the funds will be recovered upon the sale of the residence.
The third relief is a “circuit breaker relief” which provides a tax credit of $250 per household for those older than 65 and those of any age who are permanently disabled, have lived in their home for more than a year, and make less than $50,900 if married or $43,000 if single. This program has been capped to award no more than $250,000 a year. With the 585 applicants, it is expected to have a impact of $171,250.
The council also approved a property tax abatement for volunteer firefighters. Additionally, it will apply to retired volunteer firefighters, retired volunteer police officers and retired emergency medical technicians who have completed 25 years of service or more to the town. The abatement received will range from $500 to $1,500 depending on how many months the first responders served.
The Town Council had also considered a $10,000 exemption for veterans with income less than $67,200 if married or $59,600 if single, but Councilor Kelly Morrissey pointed out that Southington already provides one of the highest exemptions for veterans in the state. So the council decided to stick to the other three exemptions. Had this additional exemption been approved, it would have had 510 applicants and a tax implication of $151,000.
Additionally, Sciota reported that the first phase of improvements to the roof at Southington High School is finishing up.
“The project had a $2.6 million budget and it is coming in at $900,000 below that,” he said. “This is only a portion of the roof; the main part still needs to be done. This project was mainly the roof over the auditorium, which they were having some problems with. We plan to fix the rest of the roof over the next couple of years.”
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.