SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno has put his support behind a proposal that would allow seniors to receive a tax-credit in exchange for working in city departments.
James Leydon, Sarno’s communications director, says that the mayor is sponsoring the “Senior Citizen Property Tax Work-Off Ordinance”, which he has submitted for consideration by the city council.
Leydon adds that the proposed ordinance could achieve several goals, including assisting seniors with payment of their residential property tax bills, increasing senior citizen involvement in city government and the school district, and acknowledging the abilities of the city’s seniors and the need for their skills in the community.
“Because of the diligent work performed by Councilors [Clodo] Concepcion and [Timothy] Rooke, the City Council will have the opportunity to bring some meaningful relief to some of our very talented seniors here in the City of Springfield,” Sarno says in a statement.
As proposed, the ordinance would initially limited to 20 qualifying households. Those accepted into the program would work in a city department, at minimum wage, for maximum credit up to $500. That credit would then be deducted from the property tax bill.
Leydon adds that those seniors who wish to enroll in the program would have to meet some eligibility requirements, including that the applicant must be at least 60 years old by July 1 of the fiscal year for which they want to apply the credit, and that the applicant must own and reside in a city home or be the spouse of a homeowner living in the same residence.
An applicant would also have to certify that their income does not exceed the limits set by the Mass. Circuit Breaker Tax Credit.
Positions would be offered to applicants based on their qualifications, availability, location, and any physical limitation. Under the proposal, the placements would be done based on a random lottery
The proposal will be presented to the full city council at their meeting next Monday.