See Press Release Below
BOSTON – Boston City Councilor Ed Flynn is filing a hearing order at this week’s City Council meeting to discuss possible assistance programs for our seniors and long term city homeowners who have difficulties paying property taxes during the pandemic. The pandemic has greatly impacted the finance of many of our seniors and residents, and this hearing order aims to discuss possible ways that the city can assist those who have difficulties in paying their property taxes.
Property taxes can be a heavy financial burden for many families, particularly seniors on fixed incomes, who may have brought their homes years ago before housing prices and property values skyrocketed in the city. With the COVID-19 pandemic, many are facing additional financial difficulties, and may not be able to afford paying their property taxes. The City of Boston offers a number of property tax exemptions for residents who qualify, including for seniors who meet income limits and residency requirements. Councilor Flynn was proud to work with Councilor Edwards as the original co-sponsors to pass an ordinance in the City Council to allow low income senior homeowners who owe back taxes to establish property tax agreements, and get interest relief from the City. Moreover, cities such as New York City have reduced interest for late property tax payments for eligible homeowners, and the City of Detroit offers an exemption of up to 100% for residents who live in poverty. As many seniors and long time residents are facing financial hardship because of COVID-19, the City of Boston should also consider possible assistance programs for those who may be unable to pay their property taxes, including potentially doubling the exemption for seniors over a certain age while considering their income and evaluation.
“Many seniors and residents have reached out and reported concerns about the increase in property taxes, and I believe that we should do what we can to assist those who are facing financial hardship right now,” said Councilor Flynn. “Our seniors and long time residents are an indispensable part of our city, and it’s important that they continue to stay and thrive in our city. I look forward to working with the city on this issue and having this discussion.”
For more information, please contact Councilor Flynn’s office at 617-635-3203 or Ed.Flynn@Boston.gov.