Jamestown City Council is looking at raising the Aged Exemption for property taxes in the City.
Assessor Lisa Volpe, presenting to the Finance Committee, said to qualify for the Aged Exemption, you have to be over the age of 65, have owned your house for a year, and your income has to be less than $19,000 to qualify for the city’s exemption and less than $22,000 to qualify for the County’s exemption, “It used to be that we’d raise it $1,000 a year, every year, and we kept up with what the County was doing so we had the same dollar amount. In 2012, we stopped. We froze it at the $19,000. County kept going for three more years before they froze theirs at the $22,000. I’ve got 32 people who, next year, will get dropped off. We’re losing about 25 to 30 people a year because that income level is frozen.”
Volpe said the increase in Social Security causes people to lose the exemption and then having to pay double in city and county taxes than what they were with the exemption.
Finance Chair Kim Ecklund requested Volpe put together a financial impact statement on how raising the limit would affect the budget and taxes.
She said Council had tabled increases in the past due to the significant financial impact, “I would suggest… I’m not 100% opposed to the idea at all.. I just would like to see it at $22,000 and maybe even in increment. I mean, I even have one resident saying it should go to $30,000. I get it. They’re hurting. We need to look and see what we can do but we also have to know before we approve it what the impact, come budget time, is going to be.”
Ecklund said any increase that might be approved would be based on the 2021 Income Filing.
The Finance and Public Works Committees approved a resolution to use $900,000 of American Rescue Plan funds for water main replacements on Roland Road and Juliet Street. The $7.5 to $8 million project would involve a total reconstruction of Juliet Street between Camp and Hunter Streets and Roland Road between Camp and English Streets.
Betsy Heimbuch says
If Jamestown wants to retain population looking at changes in the aged exemption is the way to do it. Many elderly flee to Florida where there are no taxes for elderly. In fact the City/county counts the Medicare deduction as income. The elderly are suffering. A change in the aged exemption would help.