Good Measure: Board hikes tax exemptions for elderly, blind, disabled

Staff photo by Mathew PlamoNdon Nashua Board of Aldermen members direct their attention to resident Laurie Ortolano during the Tuesday meeting.

NASHUA – Plenty of homeowners throughout the city remain less than satisfied with their property tax assessments, but the blind, elderly and disabled will see their exemptions increase by a total of 25 percent during the next two years.

“As we know, the average home went up 23 percent, but the range of results across the residential sector among all the homeowners was very wide,” Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess said during the Tuesday Board of Aldermen meeting.

Tuesday, board members passed measure O-18-029, delivering some good news to those who fall in the aforementioned categories.

 The tax exemption for the blind was amended to read they shall be exempt each year from taxation upon his or her residential real estate to the value of $85,000 in the tax year starting April 1, 2018 and $94,000 in the tax year beginning April 1, 2019. The previous amount listed for this exemption was $75,000.

 Those qualified disabled taxpayers will see their exemptions increase to $175,000 for the tax year beginning in April 2018, and to $194,000 for the tax year starting in April 2019. The amount previously listed for this exemption was $155,000.

 The tax exemption for those ages 65-74 will be $175,000 for the 2018 tax year and $192,000 for the 2019 tax year. The earlier exemption was $155,000.

 The tax exemption for those ages 75-79 will be $203,000 for the tax year starting April 1, 2018 and $224,000 for the April 1, 2019 tax year. The prior amount was $180,000.

 Finally, those 80 years of age or older will see exemptions go to $254,000 for the 2018 tax year and $280,000 for the 2019 tax year. Previously, the exemption for those in this category was $225,000.

As Donchess mentioned, some property owners saw their values jump significantly this year. Donchess said in a high property tax state such as New Hampshire, the dilemma is that with every dollar of tax relief given to senior citizens, the resulting burden is placed on the remainder of taxpayers.

This, of course, is only the case because government does not reduce in size.

“Currently, Nashua has the largest elderly exemption of any city in New Hampshire,” Donchess said.

This is not for all elderly taxpayers, as there are age, income and asset limitations, which can be found on the city website at https://www.nashuanh.gov/162/Elderly-Exemptions.

Officials said about 600 residents should receive needed help via this ordinance. The board ultimately decided to pass O-18-029 as amended.