SOUTHINGTON — City leaders have raised income limits for local veterans to qualify for property tax relief.
The city council voted unanimously late Monday to expand the veterans tax relief program and tie future income caps to Social Security Administration cost-of-living increases.
Southington enacted the Veterans Property Tax Exemption nearly two decades ago. It allows military, former military or surviving spouses to reduce their property assessment by $10,000.
To be eligible, veterans must meet income requirements. The board raised income limits from $59,600 to $64,400 for single veterans and from $67,200 to $72,600 for married veterans.
A local veteran suggested increasing the limits, according to council members. Rather than increasing the limits sporadically, advisers said tying it to Social Security percentage increases would help the tax benefit keep pace with inflation.
“It’s going to put in place a policy that will continue to come down as the cost of living goes up,” said Paul Chaplinsky, city council vice president and Republican. “It’s not a one-off thing like we’ve done in the past.”
City Council member and Democrat Chris Palmieri said the council has changed the boundaries several times over the years. He supported linking the tax benefit to increases in the cost of living.
“I’m very grateful that he was introduced to us tonight,” he said.
Rachel Wache, president of the city’s Veterans Service Team, spoke at Monday’s meeting in support of expanding tax breaks.
“I hope that if possible you will consider this proposed amendment,” she told advisers.
Jason Cap, commander of American Legion Post 72 on Main Street, also urged councilors to pass the measure.
“It’s something that’s really going to help our veterans,” Cap said.
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