MacDonald Proposes Changes to Seniors' Tax Exemptions
ADAMS, Mass. — With increasing costs in everything from health care to real estate taxes, Ed MacDonald, candidate for state representative in the 1st Berkshire District, has proposed increasing the dollar amount granted for qualifying senior citizens' exemptions and adjusting the monetary guidelines they must meet.
Currently, each city and town adopts an elderly exemption for property owners. There are key criteria that need to be met before an exemption is granted. In many communities, these requirements have not changed in years. The basic requirements are that an individual must own and occupy the property on July 1 of the tax year, must live in Massachusetts for the past 10 years, and own and occupy their residence for five years.
In addition to residency requirements, there are income and asset amounts that need to be met. Depending on which clause the city or town voted to accept, the income can range from $6,000 to $15,000. Assets can range from $7,000 to $30,000. These amounts are incredibly low, MacDonald said, and need to be adjusted to meet today’s cost of living standards. Once the income and asset guidelines are increased, MacDonald proposes that the exemption amount be raised from $500 to $1,000 in every community. Currently, each city and town has the authority to pass Clause 41, 41B, or 41C. Each clause has its own set of guidelines.
“I will propose a review of the exemptions that are available to senior citizens. I will recommend that income and asset guidelines increase as well as the exemption amount. Several years ago, the veterans’ exemptions increased but not the elderly exemptions. It’s time we bring the standards up and assist those who want to stay in their own homes,” MacDonald said.
For more information on tax exemptions for seniors, click here.
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