Election Day: Seniors, disabled could get tax relief

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - On Election Day, an amendment will be voted on that would allow local cities and counties to make a decision on their own, regarding what property tax relief will be available to the elderly and disabled. It also would also localities to set their own standards for the relief.

Stocked up on her groceries for the week, Doris Jones knows how difficult it is living on a fixed income. "It is hard. Very hard. I have a granddaughter that I'm trying to help, get her money for college."

On top of that, she barely gets any tax relief from the City of Richmond. So she is heading to the polls tomorrow to let her voice be heard.

She's hoping that her city, and other counties throughout the state could change the standards for getting tax relief for seniors and the disabled on their own without the state getting involved.

"It would make me feel good. It would help out a lot and it would make me feel real good," says Doris.

Right now, Chesterfield and Henrico have tax relief assistance programs on the book.

In Chesterfield, Revenue Commissioner Joe Horbal doesn't expect this possible change, to have a big impact.

"The financial qualifications we have now are all pretty generous," says Horbal.

Thousands of people take part in the program. And more than $3 million has been given out.

"Whether the board is willing to go beyond that, I don't really know," adds Horbal.

If a change is made, the Board of Supervisors would make a decision. That would happen next year.

A similar program is on the books in Henrico. But, the qualifications are a little more laxed. And, the deal could get better if this amendment passes. But any more relief for those affected in Henrico wouldn't happen until the 2012 fiscal year.

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