MAYOR DESTEFANO KICKS-OFF 2008 SENIOR TAX FREEZE APPLICATION PERIOD
(2/1/2008) NEW HAVEN- At an event at the East Shore Senior Center today, Mayor John DeStefano, Jr., announced that the City would be offering a freeze on property taxes to eligible seniors for a second year. 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.
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. Seniors who participated in the program last year, must remember to apply every year. The tax freeze is not automatically renewed.
The Board of Aldermen approved this ordinance last spring and received substantial community support for their decision. “You don’t know what this means to seniors who don’t make much and can barely afford all of their bills,” said East Shore resident Phyllis Mazziotti. “I am thankful to the Mayor for making this happen. I think he’s really doing the right thing!”
A year ago, Mazziotti was expecting to pay $6,694. The tax freeze decreased her bill to $5,962 in residential property taxes. The freeze will saved her $1,035.
“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.”
Applications for the program can be picked up at the City’s six senior centers or by contacting the Department of Elderly Services at 946-2272.
Contact Name: Jessica Mayorga
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Contact Phone: 203-946-7660