Town Meeting Articles in Yarmouth Aim to Lessen Senior Tax Burden

YARMOUTH – Town Meeting voters in Yarmouth will decide on three articles which could provide tax breaks to a wider range of seniors and veterans.

The articles could lessen the requirements needed for exemptions and also increase the amount of the exemptions.

Seniors 65-years-of-age and older with personal assets less than $40,000, not including their home, and income less than $20,000 are eligible to receive a tax exemption.

Those requirements increase to $55,000 and $30,000 for a married couples.

Residents must also have lived in the state for ten years and owned property for at least five.

One of the articles increases the tax exemption amount up to 100 percent from $500 to $1,000, according to Director of Assessing Andrew Machado, who reviewed the articles at a recent Board of Selectmen meeting.

Machado said 188 residents received the exemption last year. If the number of recipients remain the same, the tax rate would increase by about 1.5 cents to increase the exemption to $1,000.

“The state will credit us up to 204 exemptions at $500 a piece,” Machado said. “So we can actually increase the exemptions through outreach efforts.”

The second article could help more seniors receive exemptions by changing requirements each year. If passed, the requirements would update every year by being tied to the Consumer Price Index.

The third article would lessen the residency requirement for the $1,000 disabled veterans exemption from five years to just one year.

Town Meeting is scheduled for May 6.

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