Friday, December 13, 2002
Small steps toward senior tax relief
It's not much, but it's a start. Last spring Town Meeting voted to enable Carlisle's participation in two programs that offer tax relief to qualified senior citizens. On Tuesday, Liz Jewell of the Carlisle Senior Tax Advisory Committee explained to the board of selectmen how the programs — the Aid to Elderly and Disabled Fund and the Senior Tax Voucher Program — will be administered.
Aid to elderly and disabled fund
Town Meeting established the fund to defray the real estate taxes of elderly and disabled persons of low income. Carlisle residents may make voluntary contributions to the fund. A check-off donation may be included on a future tax bill, but contributions can be made at any time (see box).
Applicants must be Carlisle property holders who are at least 65 years old or are disabled and whose combined household income does not exceed 200% of the poverty level. Not counting their home, the applicant's total assets must not exceed $50,000.
The aid will be applied toward that protion of the applicant's Carlisle property tax that is over 10% of that year's household income. Applications are available at the assessor's office in Town Hall. The senior tax advisory committee will oversee distribution of the funds.
Senior tax voucher program
Town Meeting authorized $5,000 for this program for the current fiscal year (FY03). Carlisle residents, who are at least 60 years old, may qualify to earn up to $500 a year toward their real estate tax bill. At $6.75 per hour, the maximum will be reached in about 74 hours.
Town department heads have identified seven positions, so far, including jobs assisting the library staff, board of health, council on aging, tax assessors, town clerk and board of selectmen. Town administrator Madonna McKenzie said that she already has a list of interested seniors. The positions will be filled on a first come, first served basis, as long as positions and funds last. Those who are left on the waiting list may be given priority next year, said Jewell.
Selectman Doug Stevenson praised the work of the committee. The five-member senior tax advisory committee, appointed by the selectmen last September, includes council on aging (COA) director Liz Jewell, COA assistant director Susan Evans, town treasurer and tax collector Ann Vandal, board of assessors chair Jim Marchant and town resident Nadine Bishop.
© 2002 The Carlisle Mosquito