By Alex Malm
Londonderry Assessor, Steve Hamilton, went in front of the Town Council on April 10 to discuss the elderly tax exemption,
“On a regular basis we want to make sure we maintain and manage the asset and income limits for the exemptions that can be granted to the elderly and the disabled,” Hamilton said.
He stated that the last time it was updated was in 2020 in the wake of the 2019 revaluation.
It was explained by Hamilton that they did an analysis of how their maximum income levels for the exemptions compares to other communities and how it comes to the CPI.
Hamilton said the current single person maximum income to earn a tax exemption is $40,000 in town, but the CPI adjusted amount is $48,002. The SSI COLA adjusted amount is $48,348.
For a married couple, the current exemption level is $50,300, while it’s $59,203 for the CPI amount and $59,606 for the SSI COLA adjustment.
Hamilton said they also looked at the maximum amount of assets that people can have and qualify. The asset limit in town is $137,000 compared to the CPI adjusted amount of $161,249 and $162,345 for the SSI COLA adjustment.
He said that includes all assets, except for the equity someone may have in their home.
“That is an exempted amount of assets,” Hamilton said.
It was pointed out by Hamilton that it is rare that people are denied because of asset levels and it’s normally because of income levels.
Town Council Chair, John Farrell, said he would like to see a presentation given of what the revaluation is going to look like before it goes public.
Hamilton said they would be able to give a preliminary presentation.
Farrell stated that at some point he would also like to see them look at expanding the exemption for those around 85 and older.
“Once someone reaches that age I think they deserve more,” Farrell said. “At least I would like to find out what that means,” Farrell said.
Farrell said they have over 1,000 households with at least one person who is 65 years old or older.
Hamilton told the Town Council that there were around 79 people over 80 years old in 2021.
Hamilton said he would like to get the changes to the exemption thresholds changed “as soon as practical.”
“We would like to come back to the next meeting with an ordinance,” Hamilton said.
Other potential changes Hamilton said would need to be done by the Fall.