Senior tax relief is safe

The state is no longer funding the state tax relief program for the elderly, but Wilton will continue to offer the program this year on its own, according to chief financial officer Anne Kelly-Lenz.

Kelly-Lenz told the Board of Selectmen on Sept. 17 there are 109 applications under the program, at a cost of $53,000 which is no longer coming to the town, but the town budgeted enough money for tax relief to cover the costs.

The local senior tax relief programs are not affected by the state cutbacks. On the local side, there are 287 eligible seniors, at a cost of $917,000. There are also $84,000 worth of deferral applications.

Wilton’s tax relief program is available to any elderly and disabled taxpayer who qualifies and applies for tax relief by the appropriate deadline for each program.

Tax relief is not a cash payment from the town but rather a reduction and offset of levied tax on tax relief recipients’ homes.

For the last five years, the town has budgeted up to $1,100,000 for its tax relief program but has given out less than that amount in tax relief.

Recently, the amount of tax relief granted has been rising and was almost at the $1,100,000 level, so the town increased the level on tax relief by another $50,000.