Laura Jane Sturgis
(2 of 4)
I was in favor of the tax relief program for seniors in our town and was very disappointed when it was defeated by only four votes. There are many seniors, I am sure, who live in our town and struggle with paying their real estate taxes. While they live in their own home, circumstances in their lives have limited their savings, including living on a fixed income. If they are teachers and widowed, they receive not a penny from their spouse’s social security. Often they still have mortgage payments to meet as well as the upkeep on their homes. I highly doubt that people who have plenty of assets would be applying for the tax relief. At the meeting, I noticed that many of the people who attended and voted against the article were people who are financially very comfortable. There was an income, age and residence requirement stipulated in the proposal. It gave reasonable perimeters that seniors had to meet.
Seniors who have lived in this town for well over ten years, who tried to save for their retirements and because of circumstances beyond their control were unable to amass a lot of money in their savings accounts, are struggling with paying their real estate taxes. They want to pay their taxes but the future looks very uncertain to them. Regardless of any service they may have rendered to the town there is no credit for that. They do not want to go through the embarrassment of applying for an abatement or a poverty hearing. This article would have avoided that for our senior citizens. They do not want to be a burden on the town nor do they want to lose what for many is their only asset for non-payment of taxes. Because the article was defeated by four votes there are many seniors in our town that will be lying awake nights worrying about how they will pay their taxes in the future once their meager savings are depleted.