SOUTHINGTON — Town leaders increased the income limits for local veterans to receive a property tax break.
The Town Council voted unanimously Monday night in favor of expanding the veterans tax relief program and link future income limits with the Social Security Administration’s cost of living increases.
Southington adopted the veterans property tax exemption nearly two decades ago. It allows military members, former military members or surviving spouses to reduce their property tax assessment by $10,000.
To be eligible, veterans must meet income requirements. The council increased the 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, councilors said linking it with percentage increases from Social Security would help the tax benefit keep pace with inflation.
“This is going to put in place a policy that will continue to slide as cost of living increases,” said Paul Chaplinsky, Town Council vice chairman and Republican. “It’s not a one time thing like that we’ve done in the past.”
Chris Palmieri, a Town Council member and Democrat, said the council has modified the limits several times over the years. He supported linking the tax benefit to cost of living increases.
“I’m very grateful that it was brought before us tonight,” he said.Support from veterans advocates
Rachel Wache, chairwoman of the town’s veterans service team, spoke at Monday’s meeting in favor of the tax break expansion.
“I hope if possible you will consider this proposed amendment,” she said to councilors.
Jason Cap, commander of the American Legion Post 72 on Main Street, also urged councilors to pass the measure.
“It’s something that is really going to help our veterans,” Cap said.