2016 | Politics

County Council Bill Aims to Ease Tax Burden on Seniors

Legislation would allow the elderly to defer paying property tax increases until they sell their homes

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The Montgomery County Council is attempting to limit the financial impact of future property taxes on older homeowners ahead of a possible increase later this year.

The council introduced legislation Tuesday that would allow homeowners 65 and older with individual or combined annual incomes of $80,000 or less to defer paying increases in property taxes until they sell their homes.

The move would enable seniors who have fixed incomes to be able to afford to continue living in their homes and paying taxes at the current level even if the tax rate is increased, according to council members.

“We want our seniors, the fastest-growing demographic in our county, to be able to stay in their homes as long as possible,” council member Roger Berliner said in a statement.

About half of the households owned by seniors in the county would be eligible for the deferment, according to council staff.

In March, County Executive Ike Leggett proposed an 8.6 percent property tax increase—the largest increase since 2009—as a way to pay for increased education spending and for additional county costs resulting from the loss of the Supreme Court Wynne Case.

The tax deferment legislation would go into effect July 1 if approved by the council. The legislation is sponsored by Berliner and fellow council members Sidney Katz and Hans Riemer and co-sponsored by council President Nancy Floreen.