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PROPERTY TAX EQUITY RELIEF COMMITTEE SUB-COMMITTEE B PRELIMINARY REPORT SEPTEMBER 9, 2003.

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Presentation on theme: "PROPERTY TAX EQUITY RELIEF COMMITTEE SUB-COMMITTEE B PRELIMINARY REPORT SEPTEMBER 9, 2003."— Presentation transcript:

1 PROPERTY TAX EQUITY RELIEF COMMITTEE SUB-COMMITTEE B PRELIMINARY REPORT SEPTEMBER 9, 2003

2 Sub-Committee B Our Charge Describe the typical Sudbury senior Summarize tax relief programs in area Compare residential & commercial tax rates Assess existing usage level in Sudbury Identify tax relief programs available in MA, not offered in Sudbury

3 Sub-Committee B Methodology Reviewed available data from town of Sudbury and other towns Collected and reviewed data available from US Census, MA DOR, COA and other Contacted individuals in Sudbury and other towns for supporting information Extensive group interaction

4 Observations There are seniors in town who do need help Some non-seniors also need help Not all seniors need help Existing Programs Have Low Participation Town deferral program is more favorable than in other towns Sudbury could improve existing programs and/or consider new ones

5 There are Seniors in Town Who Do Need Help Approximately 50% of senior households had an income of less than $60,000 (1999, owner and renter occupied, aged 65+) The median household income for seniors aged 75 & over is $27,692 (1999, owner and renter occupied) 17% (140 households) spend 35% or more of income on owner costs (1999, aged 65+, owner occupied)

6 There are Seniors in Town Who Do Need Help Maximum tax relief available from current programs is $790 Maximum tax relief from combined programs is $1,290 which represents 20% of average senior tax bill (age 65 and over) T axes will undoubtedly continue to increase, while their fixed income will not

7 Not All Seniors Need Help Average household income is $89,718 The average property tax burden is $6,553; or roughly 7% of the average household income 65% (533 households) spend less than 20% of income on household costs (mortgage, taxes, insurance,and utilities) (Note, owner occupied, 65 and over, 1999 income)

8 Existing Programs Have Low Participation Circuit breaker/Deferral Program –136 households use circuit breaker –Average credit is $ (circuit breaker) –24 seniors use deferral program 24 use the elderly exemption 11 use elderly reduction Tax work off program is highly utilized - 44 of 45 positions filled

9 Town Deferral Program is More Favorable than in Other Towns Sudbury recently voted to increase the income limit on deferrals to $60,000 and reduce the interest rate, variable, but currently set at 2% No other neighboring town has gone to $60,000 (some at $40k, others at $20K) or reduced interest rate from 8% or in a few cases even greater than 8%

10 Sudbury Could Improve Programs or Consider New Ones Tax work-off relief could be expanded, from current $500 Could add local circuit breaker as Wayland has ($790), to match the state Maximize elderly reduction ($1000) Study a modified 5c exemption program –Adopted by cities with large renter population (11 community) –Shifts tax burden to others –Benefit broader segment of community

11 Additional Ideas for Consideration Personalize tax program awareness Recommend leniency guidelines for hardship cases Consider line item budget to fund hardship cases Urge fiscal restraint Consider zoning changes to increase tax base (e.g., cluster housing, condo’s)

12 Open Issues How many seniors qualify for individual programs? What is the property tax forecast for the next ten years? Is low program participation normal? If no, what factors are driving low participation? Definitive data on why “50+” leave town? What percent of income toward household expense is considered normal?

13 Appendix 1.Senior Housing Characteristics, Aged 65+, Single Family Residences 2.Income Characteristics - Owner Occupied Units, Aged 65+ (1999 household income) 3.Housing Costs - Owner Occupied Units, Aged Income Characteristics - Median Household Income, Owner and Renter Occupied Units 5.Town of Sudbury, Assessed Values and Tax Burden, Senior Citizens 6.Town of Sudbury, Assessed Values, Senior Citizens 7.Town of Sudbury, Tax Burden, Senior Citizens

14 Appendix 8.Town of Sudbury, Household Income in 1999 (1) 9.Town of Sudbury, Household Income in 1999 (2) 10.Tenure by Age of Householder by Year Householder Moved into Unit, Owner Occupied Housing Units (1) 11.Tenure by Age of Householder by Year Householder Moved into Unit, Owner Occupied Housing Units (2) 12.Household Income in 1999 (Dollars) by Tenure by Age of Householder by Year Householder Moved into Unit, Owner Occupied Units 13.Average Household Income, Owner Occupied Units, 65 and over 14.Selected Monthly Owner Costs as a Percent of Household Income in 1999, Owner Occupied Units (1)

15 Appendix 15.Selected Monthly Owner Costs as a Percent of Household Income in 1999, Owner Occupied Units (2) 16.Existing Tax Relief Programs 17.Town of Sudbury, 2003 Exemption Sheet 18.Residential Property Deferred Tax Calculator 19.Programs Allowed Under MA Law not Currently offered in Sudbury 20.Existing Programs in Abutting Towns 21.How does Sudbury Compare, Commercial and Residential Levies?

16 Appendix 22.Excerpt from COA Newsletter on Tax Deferred Calculations, January Articles on Reverse Mortgages: The Downside of Refinancing Your Home; Beverly Goodman; August 27, 2003.www.thestreet.com Reverse Mortgages Lure Many Seniors; David Abel; The Boston Globe; August 4, For Some, Relief Now May Cost Plenty Later; David Abel; The Boston Globe, August 4, 2003.


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