Lyndeborough proposes expanding tax exemptions

  • The Town of Lyndeborough Staff photo by Ben Conant

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 2/16/2021 5:20:44 PM

Lyndeborough voters will decide on several expanded tax exemption proposals during this year’s town meeting.

The Select Board is recommending two amendments to the town’s tax exemptions for elderly and disabled property owners. Both amendments would increase the potential tax exemptions for those groups.

The current tax exemption for elderly residents is an exemption for up to $35,000 for people 65 or older. For those 75 or older, the exemption is $50,000, and for someone over 80, it is $70,000.

If the amendment to the elderly exemption is approved, the new exemptions would be $45,000 for someone over 65, $65,000 for someone over 75, and $90,000 for someone over 80.

To qualify for the exemption, a resident has to have been a resident of the state for three consecutive years, and have a net income of no more than $30,000 annually, or $40,000 for a married couple. Their net assets cannot be more than $70,000, excluding the value of their home.

A similar amendment is being proposed for the disabled property tax exemption adopted by the town. To qualify for the exemption, a resident must have a net income of no more than $25,000 annually for a single person and $35,000 for a married person, and net assets (excluding their residence) of no more than $60,000.

If approved, the amendment would allow disabled residents to have a higher income and still qualify – $30,000 for a single person, and $40,000 for a married one – and allow up to $70,000 in assets.

Both these changes are recommended by the Select Board.

There is a third proposed tax exemption, put on the warrant by petition. This change would adopt a state RSA which allows towns to provide a property tax exemption for solar energy systems. When put on a home, solar arrays add value to a home, and thus, increase the property tax. Under this RSA, towns can exempt up to the total value the array adds to the home, allowing residents to add a rooftop or ground array without increasing their tax bill.

The warrant article would enable the town to offer a property tax exemption equal to 100 percent of the assessed value of the equipment.

Only one article this year requests funds to purchase equipment. Article 6 requests the use of capital reserve funds to purchase 25 portable radios for the Fire Department. The total cost of the radios, associated equipment and set up costs is expected to be $35,000, all of which would be withdrawn from the Fire Department Capital Reserve Fund.

The majority of the proposed warrant for Lyndeborough this year is requests for capital reserves to defray the costs of future equipment costs.

For the Fire Department, the town is requesting $32,500 for the reserve to replace the 1994 pumper, $35,000 for the 2005 pumper and $10,000 for repair and replacement of equipment.

The town is also requesting voters approve changing the purpose of a capital reserve account, currently for the “repair and replacement of the 2002 Fire Department Rescue Vehicle.” If two-thirds of voters approve the change, the capital reserve would remove the mention of the specific vehicle, and simply be for the repair and replacement of the Fire Department rescue vehicle.

The Police Department is requesting $19,000, or half the cost, of replacing the town’s 2018 Ford police vehicle.

The Highway Department is requesting $12,000 towards the eventual replacement of its 2008 backhoe, $8,000 for the replacement of the 2016 one-ton truck, $12,000 for the 2016 mid-size dump truck, $12,000 for the replacement of the backhoe and loader, and $21,000 for the 2018 dump truck.

Voters are expected to vote on ballot issues, including the election of town officers, on March 9 at Citizens’ Hall, located on 9 Citizens’ Hall Road, from 10 a.m., until 7 p.m.

The remainder of Town Meeting, which includes all other matters on the warrant, is scheduled for March 13 at Citizens’ Hall, beginning at 10 a.m.

 

Ashley Saari can be  reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.




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