Rep. Scanlon recognizes the overwhelming obstacles, especially those resulting from this pandemic, that Massachusetts seniors are confronted with. Rep. Scanlon is will continue to work for our seniors and is committed to delivering the necessary support and relief.
H.3054 - An Act relative to tax relief for low-income seniors
This bill exempts any citizen over the age of 65, whose annual income is at or below the federal poverty guideline, from the motor vehicle excise tax on one vehicle owned and registered for personal use.
H.3055 - An Act creating a local option property tax cap for low-income seniors
This bill allows any city or town to impose a cap on property taxes for low-income seniors. Cities and towns may choose to impose a property tax cap for homeowners aged 65+ as long as single filers income is $50,000 or less or married filers income is $60,000 or less and assets (not including primary residence and 1 motor vehicle) are $75,000 or less.
H.3057 - An Act relative to the senior circuit breaker tax credit
This bill raises the cap on the senior breaker tax credit. The senior circuit breaker is codified into the general laws in subsection (k) of section 6 of chapter 62 of the general laws. Currently, the credit ‘shall not exceed $750’ (adjusted for inflation), which means the cap was $1,190 in 2020. This bill allows the cap to be as much as 50% of the total property tax bill for qualifying applicants.
H.4041 - An Act establishing a senior property tax deferral pilot program
This bill establishes a pilot program for a universal senior property tax deferral program in the Commonwealth. The pilot program will include approximately 10,000 eligible households and around 2,000 participants; eligible households and participants will be representative of the broader demographics of the Commonwealth. Participating senior households will be able to defer their taxes by checking a box on their property tax bill, which will indicate that they would like to defer their property taxes in that given year. The city/town will forward a copy of the bill of the Department of Revenue, which will return an amount equal to the deferred taxes. Interest will accrue on the deferral will be set at the state’s borrowing costs plus a 50-basis point (0.5%) buffer to account for administrative costs. Homeowners may defer property taxes until the sum of deferrals, interest, and mortgages reach 60% of the first million dollars of assessed home value. The Commonwealth will be repaid the principal plus interest within one year of the homeowner’s death or sale of the home. The total borrowing cost of the pilot program is estimated to be $81.5 million; however, the program is revenue neutral in the long-term, as deferred taxes plus interest and administrative costs are eventually returned. It is projected that by year 10 of the program, the amount taken in will be approximately the same as the amount provided by the program. The Department of Revenue will be required to deliver annual reports on the state of the pilot program to the Legislature. This bill was drafted in collaboration with the Boston College Center for Retirement Research and Massachusetts Council on Aging.