Variations in Receipt of Benefit
Other Variation in Receipt of Benefits
The benefit is either a $500 property tax credit or a $4,000 exemption, whichever is greater. By local option, cities and towns may choose to increase the benefit up to $1000, or to replace the benefit with a flat benefit starting from 5% up to 20% of the average assessed value of all Class 1 principal residences in the city or town. Applications for the exemption must be filed each fiscal year by 1 April or three months after the actual tax bills are mailed, whichever is later.
How is Benefit Disbursed
Eligible Property Type
Characteristics of Eligible Property
Only residential property owned by qualifying individuals is eligible for this program.
Description of Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible for this benefit, the person must: (a) be at least 70 years old; (b) have lived in the state for at least 10 years, owned and occupied the property in the state for at least 5 years, or be a surviving spouse who has inherited such property and occupied it for at least 5 years; (c) have had gross receipts of less than $6,000 for an individual or $7,000 for a married couple; and (d) have a whole estate (including real and personal property but not the value of a domicile) of less than $17,000 for an individual and $20,000 for a married couple. By local option, a city or town may elect to increase the maximum estate and gross receipts requirements, and may also elect to decrease the minimum age requirement for the applicant.
Local Option in Adoption of Program
Local government is unable to exercise an option
Local Option Regarding Program Features
Local option regarding program features
State Funding for Local Tax Loss
State and local government share the local tax loss
Description of State Funding for Tax Loss
The state annually appropriates money for the purposes of reimbursing cities and towns for taxes abated under this program. The commissioner of revenue divides the appropriated funds by the number of exemptions granted and distributes to each city and town a pro rata share of appropriations based on the number of exemptions granted. Cities and towns opting for more generous eligibility criteria do not receive higher consequential reimbursements.
Massachusetts Department of Revenue, Application for Senior Exemption Under Clauses 41 and 41B through D, (2018) [https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2018/01/02/dor-proptax-form-96-1-seniors.pdf Accessed 10/23/2018] View Archived Source