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    (3/18/2008) NEW HAVEN- Last month, Mayor John DeStefano, Jr., announced that the City would be offering a freeze on property taxes to eligible seniors for a second year. Seniors who applied in 2007 will not need to apply again this year. Instead, all approved applications will now be effective for two fiscal years. Seniors who did not apply or who were not eligible last year but who meet eligibility requirements this year will need to complete application forms for this program. The tax freeze is not automatically renewed. Therefore, seniors must remember to renew their applications every two years.

    Applications are available at the Assessor’s Office in City Hall or by appointment at all New Haven Senior Centers. Eligibility for this program requires that the homeowner be 70 years of age or older, a resident of New Haven for at least 10 years and have an income of under $50,000. Proof of income (Social Security Income, 1099, Income tax form) is required in order to complete the application. All applications must be submitted by May 15, 2008. Homebound seniors only can call 946-2913 or 946-2272 to have someone come to their home to assist them with their application.

    The City estimates 2,715 households meet these requirements to benefit from this tax relief. In its first year, 549 seniors took advantage of this program saving a total of $199,284. The average tax break was $400 per home.

    “We are proud to continue this program for our seniors,” said DeStefano. “After a lifetime of working hard they deserve to be protected from high property taxes. Real tax relief is important for all residents; this is an issue we will work to tackle this year.”

    The tax freeze has a $2,000 cap placed on the yearly benefit that a senior may receive. Any amount over the $2,000 can either be paid by the senior or put into deferral. The tax free benefit ends when the property is sold or transferred. Seniors who earn between $50,000 and $75,000 qualify for a deferral program that allows taxes to be deferred until the property is sold or transferred out of their name. Deferred taxes are charged a prime interest rate but create an option for individuals who do not meet the income requirements of the tax freeze. Homeowners who are 62 years of age and older qualify for the freeze if their spouse met all requirements at their time of death.

    “This program has a major impact on senior homeowners in New Haven,” said Darcey Cobbs, Director of Elderly Services for the City. “Last year was a great success. By getting the word out, working with volunteers to help seniors fill out applications and making applications very accessible, we hope to increase the number of eligible residents participating this year. Our department is excited to be a part of this program and will be available to assist seniors in filling out applications.”

    For additional information, or to obtain an application, please contact the Assessor’s Office at 946-6047 or 946-8276. To complete an application at a senior center, residents must call the appropriate center for an appointment:

    Atwater Senior center 946-8558

    Bella Vista Senior Center 946-8552

    Dixwell/newhallville Senior Center 946-8541

    East Shore Senior Center 946-8544

    West River Senior Center 946-8543

    Westville Senior Center 946-6025


    Contact Name: Jessica Mayorga

    Contact Email: jmayorga@newhavenct.net

    Contact Phone: 203-946-7660

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