Veteran's Tax Work Off Program Heads to TM
Westborough would be among the first Bay State communities with one.
Veterans in Westborough soon might get to work off up to $1,000 per year from their property taxes.
Very few veterans in Massachusetts have this option.
A request to adopt the state law allowing communities to offer a veteran's tax work off program reaches voters at the Oct. 15 special town meeting.
Westborough would become "either the second or maybe the third town in the entire state to do this," Selectman Timothy Dodd said during the board's meeting last Tuesday night.
A state law passed in May allows communities to offer the program after town meeting adopts the law and selectmen develop its policy, Dodd said.
Westborough's program initially would offer 10 openings to work for town departments.
Dodd suggested that selectmen present a draft policy to town meeting, to "allow us maybe to answer a few questions" from voters.
Selectmen plan to discuss the latest draft on Oct. 9.
Westborough has a similar program for seniors.
Last week, selectmen discussed the eligibility requirements of the potential veteran's program.
"Veteran" is defined by state statute, Dodd said.
Selectmen discussed requiring each applicant to be a veteran, and listed as a Westborough property owner.
The notion of a minimum residency requirement was raised.
Selectman Denny Drewry suggested allocating slots to disabled veterans, and widows of veterans.
"Maybe we don't do anything, (and) we just leave it as it is," Drewry said.
"There are widows in town that need home fuel assistance," for example, he noted.
Dodd said selectmen can change the policy anytime.
Selectman George Barrette said Westborough added a minimum residency to the senior work-off program because "people literally moved to town and applied for it."
Town Manager Jim Malloy said the veteran's work-off program policy could state preferences for residency and income.
"Preference gives us some wiggle room," Barrette said.
"I like the idea," noting that changing the senior policy to include this might be worthwhile.