Means tested property tax relief program is benefitting more seniors

Photo by BBC Creative on Unsplash

November 29, 2023 By Carol Britton Meyer

Ongoing outreach efforts to get the word out about the town’s Senior Means Tested Tax Exemption program — which offers property tax relief to qualifying homeowners — are meeting with success. The program is administered by the Board of Assessors.

The total amount of relief awarded during the three years the program has been in effect has increased each year: FY22, $21,201; FY23, $89,474; and $104,268 for FY24.

Of the 111 most recent applications, 30 were new applicants; 78 senior property owners have received the exemption two years in a row; and 13 for all three years.

Longtime Hingham residents and property owners who are 65 or older (co-owner, 60 or older) and have lived in Hingham for at least 10 years, who applied for and received the Massachusetts State Circuit Breaker Tax Credit on their 2022 tax return, and who meet certain income and asset requirements  may qualify for the program.

The assessed value of the homeowner’s principal residence must not be higher than $912,000.

Gov. Maura Healy signed legislation Oct. 3 increasing the maximum “senior circuit-breaker credit” from $1,200 to $2,590.

This affects Hingham’s means tested program, since each year the Select Board sets the exemption amount within a range of 50 to 100 percent of the amount of the circuit breaker tax credit.

If the board opts for 100 percent, the maximum  benefit to qualifying seniors would be $5,180 between the state circuit breaker credit and the senior means tax exemption. The amounts of the state and town tax credits vary from applicant to applicant based on their circumstances.

The maximum credit amount for tax year 2022 is $1,200.

“Our goal for next year is to encourage family members and neighbors to [in turn] encourage people [who might qualify] to apply,” Board of Assessors member Joshua Ross said.

For further information, call the Assessors Office at (781) 741-1455. The process is confidential.

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