City of Hingham encourages eligible seniors to apply for new property tax exemption
HINGHAM — In an effort to provide targeted tax relief to senior homeowners, the Town of Hingham is once again offering a tax exemption to qualifying seniors through the Office of the Assessor.
Hingham’s 2019 Annual Meeting approved a new “means-tested tax exemption” for long-term residents who meet certain income and asset criteria. According to the 2019 mandate, the purpose of the tax exemption is to help these seniors continue to be able to afford to live in Hingham by easing the growing tax burden that could force people on fixed incomes to sell their homes.
This is the second year that the City has offered this new property tax exemption to the elderly. In an effort to boost participation in this program, the City is engaging in outreach activities to educate as many residents as possible before the September 1 application deadline.
“The Town of Hingham has always prioritized helping our senior population any way we can, and this senior citizen tax exemption is a perfect example of that,” Hingham’s Chairman of the Board said. Select, Bill Ramsey. “We know how important it is for families to be able to stay in their homes, and we encourage all eligible seniors to use this program as a cost-saving measure and to contact us if they have any questions.
The details of the program are as follows:
What’s the benefit?
The maximum exemption amount for fiscal year 23 is $1,170. If you qualify, the credit will be applied to the property tax bill residents will receive in December 2022.
What are the eligibility conditions?
- Age: Must be 65 or older (co-owner must be 60 or older) as of December 31, 2021.
- Residence: Must have owned and occupied a residence in Hingham for at least 10 consecutive years.
- Income: Annual income for 2021 cannot exceed $62,000 for singles, $78,000 for head of household or $93,000 for married couples filing jointly.
- Assessed Value: Owner’s principal residence must not exceed $884,000.
- Assets: Applicants must not have excessive assets, as determined by the assessment board.
- State tax return: Have claimed the state circuit breaker tax credit in 2021.
When is the deadline?
Applications should be sent to the assessor’s office by September 1. Nominations are available at the Assessor’s Office on the first floor of City Hall on Central Street or on the City’s website at hingham-ma.gov/mte. All inquiries and applications submitted will remain confidential.
“The Board of Assessors and the Board of Assessors recognize that some Hingham residents are struggling to pay their annual property taxes. Our goal is to make sure that every homeowner who qualifies for any of the relief programs available is aware of this and what the requirements are to qualify,” said Joshua Ross of the Board of Assessors. “It’s great to see several municipal departments working together to disseminate information. We also ask our friends, family and neighbors to spread the word if they know of anyone who could benefit from these programs.
Residents have expressed their gratitude for the program since its launch last year.
“This exemption will certainly be appreciated. We’ve lived in the city for many years and want to stay in our house as long as possible,” said one resident following last year’s program.
“Thank you very much to the evaluation jury. I am delighted. I just received your [approval] letter with the good news. It will be a big help,” said another.
For residents who are unsure if they are eligible for the Senior Tax Exemption or have other questions, the Assessor’s Office can be contacted at 781-741-1455, [email protected], or in person at the assessor’s office on the first floor of the Town Hall.
Other programs for Hingham residents
The town of Hingham offers a number of property tax exemptions and relief programs for residents based on age, income, and veteran or disability status. In addition to the means-tested tax exemption for senior citizens, exemptions are available for people in financial difficulty, residents over 65, surviving spouses or people over 70, through the Tax assistance funds for the elderly and disabled, legally blind residents, various programs for disabled veterans, Gold Star families, etc. These programs have an April 1 deadline for applications to be submitted to the Office of the Assessor.
There are also tax offset programs and a tax deferral program that can provide additional tax relief to Hingham residents.
More information on these exemptions and programs can be found on the City’s website. Staff members from the Assessor’s Office are also available to help direct residents to the right programs.