Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax reliefI am posting this for two reasons. One, I need to remind myself of it. Two, I need to inform some souls out there, unaware of systems put in place before they moved here and that no, we don't need to do something dramatic.
Everyso often in discussions of gentrification someone mentions the poor old lady who lived through the good times and bad times and now is getting moved out because of rising real estate taxes. Well folks if the poor little old lady is 65 and older, she needs to apply for Senior Citizen or Disabled Property Owner Tax Relief.
I was poking around on the Tax office's Real Estate Assessment database trying to see if certain families and residences I noticed in the 1900 census were still in the community. The database, besides telling you how much the house was assessed for (something that is heavily researched by many neighbors when the assessment comes around so it can be challenged... or not) is how many rooms in the house, square footage, kind of house, and material make up of house. Let's just say poking around looking at house info I noticed some folks' tax info. 'Cause I'm nosey. A few seniors who are "Currently receiving the Senior Citizen Homestead Deduction" as the database says, are paying a few hundred or even less than a hundred every half year in real estate taxes. I saw one house charged $140 in taxes for the whole year. The guy down the street who bought 2 years ago, pays nearly $3K a year in taxes.
Seniors deserve the tax break. Regardless of income. If someone is retired, they don't need the burden. They are the citizens who lived through the good and the bad and they will hopefully benefit greatly from the positives of gentrification. If you know of a senior citizen struggling with their real estate taxes who isn't listed as receiving the relief, get them to apply. There are programs to make their golden years golden, this is just one.