Thursday, January 15, 2015

Tax relief plan that helps a number of seniors, veterans in jeopardy

A state property tax relief program that helps disabled veterans and low-income senior citizens in Knoxville and Knox County is in financial danger as Tennessee lawmakers face a tight budget and recovering economy.

Gov. Bill Haslam is looking to cut funding for the program from $33 million to $29 million at a time when local officials say it actually needs another $5 million to maintain the status quo.

The plan – dubbed the "Property Tax Relief Program" – provides property tax rebates statewide for more than 150,000 disabled veterans and their surviving spouses, and senior citizens who earn $28,270 or less annually.

Under the plan, low-income seniors receive tax relief for the first $25,000 of their assessed property. Veterans who were disabled while serving get relief on the first $175,000 of their assessed property.

Residents apply at the local trustee's office and city tax collections department. If approved, the county and city then bill the state for the difference.

Last year, the program served 416 Knox County veterans and about 4,500 local seniors, providing for a combined $962,000 in relief.

Knox County's seniors got up to $145 in county taxes and $170 in city taxes docked from their tax bills.

Veterans got up to $1,015 in county relief and almost $1,200 in city relief.

Rest of the story RIGHT HERE.

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