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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Schenectady increases the income threshold for senior property tax exemption


SCHENECTADY ⁤— Exciting news for‌ Schenectady residents! ‌The City Council has expanded the income limit for the seniors property tax exemptions, making more ⁤Schenectadians eligible for the program.

Last year, the state passed legislation allowing municipalities to raise the maximum income eligibility limit‍ for the Senior Citizen Real Property Tax Exemption program and the Persons with Disabilities‌ Real Property Tax Exemption from $37,399 to $50,000. The city has now raised the income ceiling for seniors from $37,399 per‌ year ⁢to $40,399, with the possibility of future hikes.

With the federal government⁢ set to increase Social⁤ Security benefits next⁤ month for cost-of-living increases, the Schenectady exemption⁣ raise ‍is intended to protect seniors from⁢ losing their ⁣property tax breaks⁣ if they exceed the income limit.

City Assessor Molly MacElroy recommended the council raise its exemption income level by $3,000 to $40,399, instead of the allowable⁢ limit of $50,000, with future hikes possible. MacElroy also emphasized the importance of ⁢a cautious‍ approach, stating that ​immediately⁤ raising‍ the exemption ‌limit to $50,000 may not be prudent without a ​clear projection of how⁣ many additional ‍seniors would qualify under that ‌scenario.

The program deploys a sliding scale that provides a higher exemption ⁢for those with less income. Now, seniors and⁤ disabled​ individuals earning more than $39,500 but less than the $40,399 limit will receive a 5% property tax reduction.

In addition to ‍raising the income limit, the council also raised the minimum income level for participation in the program from $29,000 to $32,000. Older residents who earn less than ⁢$32,000 are now eligible for ‍a 50% tax ⁢exemption⁤ for the assessed value of their home.

City ‍Council President Marion Porterfield expressed her support ⁣for the changes, highlighting the impact on residents who don’t have a lot of money ‍and the importance of keeping a little‍ more money ⁣in their pockets.

The council held a public hearing at its Dec. 11 meeting regarding the⁣ proposed exemption hike, but no one spoke on the issue.

Juniper Li
Juniper Li
Juniper Li, with her roots in documentary filmmaking, brings a unique narrative style to local news reporting. A graduate of NYU’s Journalism program, Ava has a keen eye for stories that capture the essence of community life. Her reporting often highlights local achievements and challenges, drawing on her experience in visual storytelling.
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  1. Disagree. This policy change may place an unnecessary burden on younger taxpayers who are already struggling to make ends meet.

  2. Bad punctuation and grammar, disagree This policy change unfairly benefits seniors while placing additional financial strain on younger taxpayers.

  3. Disagree. This change could worsen the financial burden on younger taxpayers without addressing the needs of the senior population effectively.


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