A provision that would have made select senior citizens exempt from paying the District’s property tax was mostly repealed in an amended version of the 2015 budget, Councilmember Anita Bonds, who championed the measure, said in a statement last week.
The bill gave longtime DC residents over the age of 70 with an annual income of $60,000 or less a complete break on their property taxes. Only residents who had lived in DC for at least 20 consecutive years were eligible, and those receiving the tax credit had to get less than $12,500 in personal income tax breaks or credits. It was passed by the council and signed into law by Mayor Vincent Gray this spring.
A revised version of the measure allows seniors to get a portion of their property tax refunded and allows residents aged 75 and older to get an interest-free deferral on their taxes.
Bonds pushed the bill to give longtime residents “who have stood the course during trying times” a reward for doing so amid rapidly rising property values. Passing the bill was part of Bonds’ platform when she ran for the at-large councilmember position.
Several initiatives have been stripped from the 2015 budget in an effort to save money. Most notably, the council voted in May to dramatically reduce the funds apportioned to DC’s fledgling streetcar system. That cut was part of a six-year funding plan, according to the Post.
Bonds said in a statement that she wasn’t happy about the measure’s cut in “last-minute budget negotiations.”
“… I am disappointed that this budget does not contain that measure,” she said. “As always, I will continue my commitment to the District senior community and will do everything I can to ensure that they can afford to remain here now that the city is prospering.”
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This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/dcs_senior_property_tax_relief_bill_mostly_repealed_in_amended_2015_budget/8700
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