No. Branford weighs senior tax relief

Thursday, November 20, 2008 5:30 AM EST
By Rachael Scarborough King, Register Staff

NORTH BRANFORD — The town is considering a senior citizen tax-relief program, and an ad hoc committee will begin meeting soon.

A local resident, Roger Munck, has been raising the topic for months during the public input portion of Town Council meetings.

Town Manager Richard Branigan said at this week’s meeting that he plans to meet with Munck and two other town residents to begin discussing a program.

Town employees have compiled information about freezing or reducing senior citizens’ taxes, but the Town Council has not made any commitments to implement a new program nor indicated a preference for a particular program used in other towns.

The town has a $200 tax credit for seniors who meet certain income guidelines. About 200 people are qualified for that discount.

Branigan said his preference would be to work within that system.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Council Member Paul Calamita said that one possibility would be to raise the amount of the credit.

“We’re looking at options, but we’d like to keep it as close to the system that we’re operating now for efficiency of administration,” Branigan said. “That’s our first preference, but we’re open to suggestions.”

By local ordinance, the amount of taxes that the town can forgive each year can not exceed $75,000.

Unless the council amended the ordinance, that would mean there would be a $75,000 cap for any taxes reduced for senior residents.

Branigan said he would recommend not changing the ordinance.

“I think that the time is now to move this (tax relief program) forward,” he said.

“However, we’re starting to put together the numbers in the next few months of what the budget is going to be. My recommendation is going to be that the ordinance remain untouched.”

He said anyone interested in participating in the informal meeting can call his office at 484-6000.

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