Credit or Exemption for Persons Aged 70 or Older with Local Option (Clause 41; 41B-D)

State

Massachusetts

Year

2019

Variations in Receipt of Benefit

Other Variation in Receipt of Benefits

Benefit Type

Credit

Exemption

Benefit

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

Other

Eligible Property Type

Residential

Characteristics of Eligible Property

Only residential property owned by qualifying individuals is eligible for this program.

Eligibility Criteria

Age

Homeowner

Income Ceiling

Principal Residence

Wealth Limit

Other Criteria

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.

Record ID

MA104_RR19

Footnotes

With limited exceptions, recipients of this benefit are not eligible for any other benefits specified under Chapter 59 §5. In calculating gross receipts, business expenses and losses may be deducted. There is also a deduction for income received from federal, state, and local government annuities, pensions, and retirement plans. In calculating the value of a whole estate, an applicant may elect to include the value of property occupied as a domicile in which case the maximum eligibility threshold is $40,000 for an individual or $45,000 for a married couple. The benefit will be prorated if the applicant owns the residence with someone other than their spouse by the percentage of the applicant's ownership interest in the property.

Sources

Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 59, § 5-41;
Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 59, § 5-41B ~ § 5-41D (in effect for 2019)
Massachusetts Department of Revenue, Taxpayers Guide to Property Tax Exemptions for Seniors
[https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2018/01/02/dor-proptax-guide-seniors.pdf Accessed 01/06/2021]
View Archived Source

Massachusetts Department of Revenue, Application for Senior Exemption Under Clauses 41 and 41B through D
[https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2018/01/02/dor-proptax-form-96-1-seniors.pdf Accessed 01/06/2021]
View Archived Source

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