Letter: Tax relief ordinance unsustainable

6
14

letters_flatTo the editor,

I am deeply saddened to see the Beacon Falls town budget fail at referendum. The town budget contained a very minor 0.1 mill increase. This equates to approximately $20 on a house valued at $200,000.

The town budget represents the cost of running the town (minus the Region 16 school budget). I have personally observed the Board of Finance seek justification for each and every line in the budget, as well as scrutinize every past expenditure. Then they went back looking to see where there could be further cuts.

Yet the town budget was defeated. The only realistic place I can see to further cut the budget without cutting core services would be to reexamine the ordinance for elderly tax relief.

This ordinance, as it currently exists, is wholly unsustainable. Due of its overly generous income thresholds, allowing for incomes of those over 65 years of age earning up to $75,000 for a single, or $150,000 for a couple to be eligible for this tax abatement. This threshold is far in excess of a similar plan run by the state of Connecticut and far above that allowed by our neighboring towns for their seniors.

The ordinance for senior tax relief was put in place years ago to help seniors living on Social Security only, or S.S. and maybe a small pension. As the ordinance currently exists, rather than help the needy in their old age, it now is transferring tax liability from all seniors to everyone else in town, just because they have reached the age of 65.

$149,000 is currently being transferred to those under 65, and that number will increase as more, and more Baby Boomers reach age 65. Thus this ordinance is unsustainable and needs to have the thresholds reset so that it is helping those who are in financial need not just because a person of means has reached the age of 65.

If this issue should make you upset also, then by all means, please call or write your selectmen with your concerns.

Gary Komarowsky

Beacon Falls

6 COMMENTS

  1. What you are forgetting is that seniors pay taxes too, and have for many years, assessments are across the board to every property owner. Where is that in your math? You make it sound as though they get a free ride.
    It’s ok with you that seniors pay for everything else that property taxes go toward, whether they use it or not. Get a grip on your saddle horn here comes the news flash —someday you may need a break.

  2. Gary, for the seniors that live at Pond Spring Village in Beacon Falls, that tax relief is the only thing that helps people here feel like they have gotten something back for the taxes they pay. Aside from not having any children in the schools here, we pay for private trash and recycle collection and we pay to have our roads cleared of snow, things that you don’t have to pay extra for. Young families are moving out of CT because it’s becoming too expensive to live here, well maybe it’s becoming too expensive for seniors too. Maybe we should take our tax money and move to FL. How would you like them apples?!

  3. Mr.Komarowsky is the essence of a Beacon Falls DTC tax and spend ultra-liberal. He’s yet to see a spending increase with the attendant tax increases for either the town or the region he didn’t like. He’s been in favor of walkways to nowhere, big fire trucks, expensive libraries and monumental school construction, BUT he draws the line when it comes to a tax break for seniors. Mr. K, please tell those seniors who may be your friends, relatives or neighbors this isn’t payback because you believe seniors are responsible for defeating those budget increases you so dearly love.

  4. Gary, I find it very sad that you would take a tax relief ordinance away from Seniors and would still want all of us to pay for garbage collection that costs the budget 280,000 – 290,000 dollars each year and by the way looks like it went up from last year. Time to look at finding a cheaper way to remove your garbage than asking all people to pay for this. Actually, this sounds more unsustainable than the tax relief for seniors.

  5. Gary, I shared your letter on face book. I hope others will do the same. I agree that your letter is well said. Its sad that so few people are informed regarding issues such as this. I also made the point that ordinances are not easy to change and if people don’t get out and vote for this one, it may be years before they will have another opportunity yet they may be carrying the tax burden whether they want to or not.

  6. The author has made a case for the sustainability of a program. Sounds like some solid research is needed here for comparison (state/towns.) Nicely said Gary.