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Draft tax-relief ordinance sent to committee

The Town Council's ordinance subcommittee will soon review a proposal for a property tax relief program for senior citizens.

Town councilors referred the proposal, presented by Town Assessor Clint Swett, to committee at their meeting Sept. 10, 2018.

The 2018-19 budget approved by the council in May includes $75,000 to fund the program.

Under the proposal, qualifying seniors age 65 and older may receive up to $500 in property tax relief if they have owned their Cape Elizabeth property for 10 years or more, earn $60,000 or less (federal adjusted gross income), and their tax bill exceeds 5 percent of that income. Applicants must also be receiving the state's Homestead Exemption to qualify, according to the proposal.

Swett presented a preliminary proposal to the council in April, based a similar program in Scarborough.

Tax relief for seniors is a Town Council goal for 2018, and councilors hope to review and implement the program in time for the second half of fiscal year 2018-19.

Swett encouraged seniors, or anyone who knows of a senior, with questions to contact him by email or by phone, 207-799-1619.