Sandwich Considers Request for Senior Tax Break

SANDWICH – Town officials in Sandwich are considering a retired economist’s request that the town increase tax exemptions given to senior citizens.

David Darling, a retired specialist in community economic development and member of the Sandwich Planning Board, made the suggestion earlier this month at a board of selectmen’s meeting.

“Making it simple, tax relief for people who are 65 and older who have lived in Sandwich for five years,” said Darling.

Darling’s ideal plan would call for an exemption of $1,000 a year for seniors or a 20 percent break on their mean property value, whichever is greater.

Town Manager Bud Dunham said that there are already existing exemptions for seniors, veterans, and the blind that had been implemented by a positive vote at town meeting.

The exemption that Darling outlined would likely be a special act and require more review.

“Something like Mr. Darling outlined is more extensive and more comprehensive. So if there was ever a special act that was proposed, as with normal special acts, it would need to have approval from the town meeting and then get sent to the state where the legislature reviews it and then ultimately if they approve it then it becomes law and if not then it dies,” said Dunham.  

Chairman David Sampson said that with some time, the town could look into the possibility and do more research on the tax data.

Sampson also said that he understood Darling’s request, but reminded that many town projects are funded by resident taxes.

“Everybody wants to pay less taxes. Even I want to pay less taxes. But at the same time, everybody wants more services for less taxes,” said Sampson.

“It’s a tough balancing act.”

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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