[LincolnTalk] So you’ve seen your latest property tax bill...

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[LincolnTalk] So you’ve seen your latest property tax bill...

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Property Tax Study Committee 

Public Forum #2: Tuesday, October 15th, 7:00 - 8:30pm

Donaldson Room, Town Offices


Recognizing that the bond for the school project could have a disproportionately large financial impact on some Lincoln residents, the Property Tax Study Committee was appointed by the Board of Selectmen last January (https://www.lincolntown.org/1084/Property-Tax-Study-Committee). Its charge is to:

  • Understand, to the extent practicable, the scope and types of community needs.
  • Research and understand the implications of tax programs that are currently supported by state law, or are under consideration.
  • Seek input from the community to understand the appetite for such programs in the context of other town priorities.
  • Understand how private fundraising efforts could best be utilized to help those with demonstrated financial need.

The Committee has focused on two possible tax programs:

  1. Residential Exemption
  2. A local extension of the state Circuit Breaker program

Below is the article about these options that was published in the September edition of the Board of Selectmen’s newsletter. (To read the entire newsletter, click:  BOS News)


Please join us on October 15th to learn more, ask questions, and provide feedback!


Jennifer Glass, for the Committee


Property Tax Study Committee

image1.png

The Study Committee held its first public forum on June 18th. Using Lincoln’s vision statement as a framework, the Committee shared information about Lincoln’s demographics, available information about economic need, and the current utilization of existing tax abatement programs.  

The Committee also introduced two additional programs the Town could consider pursuing:

  1. Residential Exemption
    • A local option property tax exemption that is set at 0% - 35% of the Town’s average residential property value. The chosen % gets translated into a fixed amount that is deducted from every eligible residential assessment before the tax rate is applied.
    • The exemption applies only to owner-occupied properties.
    • The tax rate is then increased to make the program revenue-neutral.
    • All residential taxpayers (including owners of rental properties) pay the increased tax rate to keep the total tax levy the same; commercial properties are excluded.
    • The effect is to reduce taxes on eligible properties with valuations below a break-even point; it raises taxes on properties above the break-even point (roughly 60% of properties would be below and about 40% would be above the break-even point).
    • There are no age or income requirements.
    • May be enacted by a vote of the Selectmen; no additional approval requirements.
  1. A local extension of the Massachusetts Circuit Breaker Program
    • Goal is to try to ensure that estate taxes are no more than 10% of income.
    • For the State program: Must be 65+; homeowners and renters are eligible; must meet income, asset, and property value limits. Current state benefit is a credit up to $1100.
    • In Lincoln and peer towns, the state benefit is often not enough to bring real estate taxes down to 10% of income. Concord, Sudbury, and Wayland have created extension programs that are aimed at closing the gap for homeowners. The Sudbury & Concord programs were able to establish a higher property value threshold than the MA program.
    • There is a statewide bill in the legislature that mirrors the Sudbury program, but does not allow for a higher property value.
    • Local programs are instituted by means of special state legislation, a process that starts with a Town Meeting vote.

Each program has positive aspects and challenges, and the Committee continues to wrestle with a number of questions:

  1. Who would we be trying to help with a new program? Homeowners? Renters? Seniors? All ages?
  2. What would be the cost to residents? 
  3. Should a new tax abatement program be a priority? Are there other needs that are more urgent?

The Committee seeks your input! Please take a look at the Property Tax Public Forum slide deck, then take a short survey.



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[LincolnTalk] So you’ve seen your latest property tax bill...CORRECTED

Lincoln mailing list
CORRECTION: The first bullet in the section about a local extension of the Circuit Breaker program should read: “Goal is to try to ensure that real estate taxes are no more than 10% of income.” 

My thanks to an eagle-eyed LT reader!

On Oct 2, 2019, at 4:35 PM, Jennifer Glass <[hidden email]> wrote:

Property Tax Study Committee 

Public Forum #2: Tuesday, October 15th, 7:00 - 8:30pm

Donaldson Room, Town Offices


Recognizing that the bond for the school project could have a disproportionately large financial impact on some Lincoln residents, the Property Tax Study Committee was appointed by the Board of Selectmen last January (https://www.lincolntown.org/1084/Property-Tax-Study-Committee). Its charge is to:

  • Understand, to the extent practicable, the scope and types of community needs.
  • Research and understand the implications of tax programs that are currently supported by state law, or are under consideration.
  • Seek input from the community to understand the appetite for such programs in the context of other town priorities.
  • Understand how private fundraising efforts could best be utilized to help those with demonstrated financial need.

The Committee has focused on two possible tax programs:

  1. Residential Exemption
  2. A local extension of the state Circuit Breaker program

Below is the article about these options that was published in the September edition of the Board of Selectmen’s newsletter. (To read the entire newsletter, click:  BOS News)


Please join us on October 15th to learn more, ask questions, and provide feedback!


Jennifer Glass, for the Committee


Property Tax Study Committee

image1.png

The Study Committee held its first public forum on June 18th. Using Lincoln’s vision statement as a framework, the Committee shared information about Lincoln’s demographics, available information about economic need, and the current utilization of existing tax abatement programs.  

The Committee also introduced two additional programs the Town could consider pursuing:

  1. Residential Exemption
    • A local option property tax exemption that is set at 0% - 35% of the Town’s average residential property value. The chosen % gets translated into a fixed amount that is deducted from every eligible residential assessment before the tax rate is applied.
    • The exemption applies only to owner-occupied properties.
    • The tax rate is then increased to make the program revenue-neutral.
    • All residential taxpayers (including owners of rental properties) pay the increased tax rate to keep the total tax levy the same; commercial properties are excluded.
    • The effect is to reduce taxes on eligible properties with valuations below a break-even point; it raises taxes on properties above the break-even point (roughly 60% of properties would be below and about 40% would be above the break-even point).
    • There are no age or income requirements.
    • May be enacted by a vote of the Selectmen; no additional approval requirements.
  1. A local extension of the Massachusetts Circuit Breaker Program
    • Goal is to try to ensure that real estate taxes are no more than 10% of income.
    • For the State program: Must be 65+; homeowners and renters are eligible; must meet income, asset, and property value limits. Current state benefit is a credit up to $1100.
    • In Lincoln and peer towns, the state benefit is often not enough to bring real estate taxes down to 10% of income. Concord, Sudbury, and Wayland have created extension programs that are aimed at closing the gap for homeowners. The Sudbury & Concord programs were able to establish a higher property value threshold than the MA program.
    • There is a statewide bill in the legislature that mirrors the Sudbury program, but does not allow for a higher property value.
    • Local programs are instituted by means of special state legislation, a process that starts with a Town Meeting vote.

Each program has positive aspects and challenges, and the Committee continues to wrestle with a number of questions:

  1. Who would we be trying to help with a new program? Homeowners? Renters? Seniors? All ages?
  2. What would be the cost to residents? 
  3. Should a new tax abatement program be a priority? Are there other needs that are more urgent?

The Committee seeks your input! Please take a look at the Property Tax Public Forum slide deck, then take a short survey.



--
The LincolnTalk mailing list.
To post, send mail to [hidden email].
Search the archives at http://lincoln.2330058.n4.nabble.com/.
Browse the archives at https://pairlist9.pair.net/mailman/private/lincoln/.
Change your subscription settings at https://pairlist9.pair.net/mailman/listinfo/lincoln.