** This article has been revised from its original version which was published on April…
Tax Break for Long Island Seniors Not Renewed
On Long Island, a tax break affecting 35,000 Nassau County seniors was not renewed this year.
Recently, Nassau County let a long-standing property tax abatement expire without any notice to the recipients of the abatement.
Approximately 35,000 seniors, all earning less than $86,000 a year in income, were receiving approximately $200 a year in tax abatement. But now the abatement has been removed because the county legislature did not re-approve the abatement.
As anyone who lives in Nassau County knows, it is an incredibly expensive place to live, especially if you are living on a fixed income like so many senior citizens. In a day and age when many seniors are permanently moving out of Nassau County—and to a great extent off Long Island entirely—in order to avoid the increasing property taxes and the high cost of living on Long Island, it makes no sense for the county to allow the expiration of a property tax abatement. For those senior citizens who continue to live on Long Island with a fixed income, what amounts to a $200 property tax abatement is a big deal, and its loss is certainly felt.
Hopefully, another similar abatement will be enacted soon, but in the meantime, what can seniors in this situation do to limit or reduce their property tax bills?
Tip 1: Go to the town and county websites to see if there are other tax exemptions available that are not being taken advantage of. For instance, there is a senior citizens property tax exemption which may be helpful, but there are strict rigors in terms of who is eligible. You can’t earn over a certain dollar amount, be of a certain age, and may have to prove some sort of ailment or inability to pay the taxes.
Tip 2: Another option for seniors, and for the adult children of seniors who are looking to help out, is to contact the local tax assessor’s office. Find out what exemptions are available, review the terms of the exemption application, and ask questions. Seniors who are property owners may need to do some research or speak with a local attorney to help out, but there are some programs out there to help seniors.
Tip 3: Look at a recent tax bill. Make sure that you’re receiving the tax exemptions you believe you are. Sometimes, you have to recertify for them every so often. If you’re thinking, “Oh, boy, taxes have gone up this year,” maybe you lost an exemption that you didn’t recertify for.
Tip 4: Consider grieving your tax assessment. Grieving your tax assessment could also help decrease your property tax liability as well. It is possible for every property tax owner to apply for tax assessment grievance; however, in order to ensure the best results, it is important to seek the counsel of experienced professionals.
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