Variations in Receipt of Benefit
No Variation in Receipt of Benefits
The baseline benefit is the greater of a $2,000 exemption of taxable property value or a $175 credit on the property tax bill. By local option, cities and towns may increase the benefit amount annually up to the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Applications must be filed annually 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 and inhabited by eligible Massachusetts residents is eligible for this program.
Description of Eligibility Criteria
This incentive is available to surviving spouses, minor children of deceased parents, and persons over age 70 who own residential property and have total estates including real and personal property not exceeding $20,000 (though cities and towns may adopt provisions increasing the wealth limit and exemption amounts for real property). Ownership interests are satisfied if: (a) the person’s interest in the domicile is worth at least $2,000, (b) the person is a holder of life estate, or (c) the domicile is held in a trust and the person is a trustee or co-trustee or possesses a significant beneficial interest in the trust.
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
When the whole estate of the person receiving the incentive exceeds $10,000, the state treasurer shall reimburse the city or town for the amount of tax which otherwise would have been collected. When cities and towns adopt increases in the wealth eligibility limit or adjust benefits based on increases to the CPI, the state treasury reimbursements to the cities and towns will remain at an amount equal to the reimbursement granted for the most recent fiscal year prior to adoption of expanded eligibility criteria.
Massachusetts Department of Revenue State Tax Form 96-6 Application for Statutory Exemption for Seniors, Surviving Spouses, Minor Children (2017) [http://www.mass.gov/dor/docs/dls/publ/forms/seniors-surviving-spouses-minors-96-6.pdf Accessed 1/24/18]
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