BOSTON- The Massachusetts Senate recently passed legislation providing property tax breaks for low-income seniors, veterans, and the disabled. The bill, S.2124, incorporates legislation offering property tax relief to homeowners age 65 or older across the Commonwealth, filed by Senator Patricia Jehlen (D-Somerville).
Under current law, persons 65 years of age and older have the option to defer paying all or a portion of their property taxes until such a time when their home is sold or conveyed. This is a local option that is currently capped at $57,000. This threshold penalizes people who are “house rich” & “cash poor.” The legislation passed by the Senate would increase the local option income cap income to $80,000.
“Deferring property tax payments can provide many older adults with just enough relief so they can afford to age in their community,” said Senator Jehlen. “It is a great alternative to the more widely known reverse mortgages.”
“This is a very important step forward in updating the Commonwealth’s Property Tax Relief Programs for older adults,” said David Stevens, Executive Director of Massachusetts Councils on Aging. “This legislation will assist communities in helping their older adults ‘age in place.’ We hope that the House concurs quickly.”
This bill would also allow a city or town to expand the existing property tax deferral for senior citizens and for active military personnel, and create new local option property tax exemptions for deaf persons.
The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.