SALEM – City Hall has taken another step to help seniors with their tax bills.
With the new Salem Seniors Tax Exemption Program (STEP), more Salem seniors can apply part of their breaker tax credits to their annual property tax return. Only 40 seniors applied for an exemption last year, but the new limits allow hundreds to get some of their taxes off in the coming year.
The new thresholds have been set at the following levels: For single seniors, the old threshold has been raised from $ 27,000 to $ 76,000 as a householder or $ 61,000 otherwise. For married couples, the threshold moves from $ 32,800 to $ 92,000.
In addition, income thresholds change every year to reflect changes in the cost of living. The asset restrictions will continue to be adjusted to ensure that senior citizens who have a lot of homes but are income limited are not excluded from the exemption.
The program was previously passed by the city council and has more recently been sent to state legislature for approval. Governor Charlie Baker signed it on December 21st.
“The Senior Tax Exemption Program continues our commitment to make Salem an even more age-friendly community,” Mayor Kim Driscoll said in a statement. “Salem is a place where residents of all ages can live comfortably and grow old. While we have managed to keep tax changes relatively modest over the past fifteen years through responsible tax practices, it is important that we recognize the disproportionate burden on income-restricted elderly residents. As the cost of living in Salem and across the Commonwealth increases, we have a responsibility to develop strategies to help our residents who need it most. “
Applications for the STEP program for the FY2021 tax year are available from January 11 at www.salem.com/step or by calling the assessor at 978-619-5608. Applications must be received by April 1, 2021 in order to be considered for the current financial year.