Article 11, sponsored by the board of assessors, would allow the town to increase the income and asset limits as well as the amount of the tax abatement for seniors 70 and older. This article asks voters to adopt the state law that sets these limits.
Currently, a single senior who is 70 years or older must have an income of $14,044 or less and have $30,249 or less in assets in order to be eligible for a $500 break on his real estate taxes. A married couples’ limits are $16,205 in income and $32,410 in assets.
The new law would increase the income limits to $20,000 for a single person and $30,000 for a married couple. The asset limits would also rise to $40,000 for a single person and $55,000 for a couple. Also, the tax break would double to $1,000.
Deputy Assessor Dick Finnegan said the raising the limits was a long time coming. Currently, 13 people use the program, which costs the town $6,500 in lost tax revenue. He estimated 20 people would be eligible under the new program. This would cost the town an extra $13,500.
In other business, selectmen:
*Voted unanimously to buy the Harris property, .94 acres of land on Keene St. for its assessed value of $6,900. The conservation fund will be used to purchase this land, which is 75 percent wetlands.
*Voted unanimously to adopt a policy regarding the police and their new automatic external defibrillators. Police Chief Mark Deluca said all police officers are currently being certified to use the five new defibrillators. Three of the defibrillators were bought with a grant, one was donated by the Duxbury Police Union and the other was donated by the Village at Duxbury. Fire Lieutenant John Bowser is donating his own time to train the police on how to use them. Deluca said the defibrillators cannot be used until all officers are trained.