Most in Massachusetts would never think there are actually tax programs available to save you money. After all we didn't get the name "Taxachusetts" for nothing.
Lately, it seems everywhere you turn there is bad news. The local Real Estate market has been down in the dumps, the stock market has taken a fairly big hit, the cost of oil and energy in general is out of sight, and there is talk of a recession.
With the exception of historically low mortgage interest rates, there have not been many reasons to get overly excited by the present shape of our economy.
Taxes have been an issue for years in Massachusetts. Especially some of the towns located in Metrowest MA that have had extremely high property appreciation rates.
Up until the last few years Real Estate in Metrowest Massachusetts was booming. Along with the increase in property values came higher tax bills. This has become a wide spread problem for the elderly and those on fixed incomes.
In Massachusetts there are programs available to help those in need of tax relief.
There are a few programs worth discussing including clause 41c for elderly residents, clause 17d which is an exemption for seniors, surviving spouses, and minors, clause 22 covering veterans, clause 37a which covers the blind and two others know as the Circuit Breaker and the standard tax deferral.
Below is an explanation of each one of these exemptions:
Clause 41C - Clause 41c is for elderly residents. Residents who are 65 years old by July 1 may qualify for a $1000 dollar tax credit. The income requirements for this program if single are $23,718 per year and assets not in excess of $40,000. If you are married the income requirement is less than $35,578 and assets not is excess of $55,000. The other requirement with 41c is that you have to be living in Massachusetts for the last ten years and owning/occupying property for the last five.
Clause 17D - Clause 17d is an exemption in the amount of $208.39. In order to qualify for 17d a senior must be 70 years old by July 1 and surviving spouses must be a widow or widower by July 1. For a minor to qualify for this program they must have a deceased parent and own the property. In all of these circumstances the total worth may not exceed $40,000 excluding assessed home value.
Clause 22 - There are various exemptions for veterans and their spouses ranging from $400-$1000. In order to qualify you must have certification of a war related disability and also not have been dishonorably discharged.
Clause 37A - Clause 37a applies to those who are legally blind as of July 1. The tax credit is $500. In order to qualify you must also be registered with The Massachusetts Commission for the blind.
Tax Deferral- Residents 65 years or older can defer all or a portion of their taxes at a rate of 5% interest. In order to qualify residents must have lived in MASS for the past ten years and owned/occupied their home for the last five years. Gross annual income must not exceed $40,000. This a a program that not many people are aware of. In my home town of Hopkinton MA the town places when the deferral is approved and payment is made upon the sale of the home.
The Circuit Breaker - This exemption is available to residents age 65 and over whose property taxes exceed 10% of their income. This figure includes water and sewer bills.
These are great programs that are available in Hopkinton MA and other Metrowest Massachusetts communities. I suspect that if more people knew about these options they would take advantage of them. Hopefully a few people will read this and I will end up saving them a few dollars.
It would be great if there were other programs such as these that more people in Metrowest Massachusetts could take advantage of. The cost of living here is high and there are others besides seniors who could use the help.
About the Author: The above Real Estate information for Massachusetts Property Tax Relief was provided by Bill Gassett, a Nationally recognized leader in his field. Bill can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 508-435-5356. Bill has helped people move in and out of Hopkinton MA and other Metrowest towns for the last 23+ Years.
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