Leopold backs tax relief for seniors

Bill would increase savings for homeowners

March 16, 2007

County Executive John R. Leopold said yesterday that he would ask the County Council to support an amendment to a tax-relief bill to increase the savings to senior homeowners.

The amendment would give county residents older than 70 the ability to seek a 30 percent bonus on a supplemental credit offered by the county to the "circuit breaker" homeowners' tax.

The amendment would boost the bonus he proposed last month from 10 percent to 30 percent, increasing it by an average of $90.

The tax credit would cost the county about $150,000.

"Turnover savings having enabled me to follow through with my pledge to enhance the bonus to senior citizens on fixed incomes, and allow them to remain in their homes," Leopold said. "This will also help to protect them from soaring assessments."

Last year, 4,038 residents received the circuit breaker credit. Leopold estimated that 2,823 residents would be eligible for the new credit.

If the amendment is approved, eligible seniors would receive nearly $1,100 in combined state and county tax credits, Leopold said. The amendment will be introduced to the County Council on Monday night.

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