Seniors and the disabled could soon pay more taxes - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Seniors and the disabled could soon pay more taxes

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CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) -

Chesterfield leaders want a tighter hold on a tax relief program to narrow the number who don't pay real estate taxes.

The proposal would directly impact senior citizens and the disabled who have been getting full coverage or partial coverage for years. The county wants to save money, but residents say they're concerned.

Chesterfield seniors like Ray and Thelma Keisel say there is no way they can afford an extra dime.

"We don't spend a penny that's not necessary, we just don't have it," said Ray Keisel.

At 82-years-old, the Keisels are the kind of people this change can drastically impact. Right now, they fit in the income bracket that makes them exempt from paying real estate taxes, but if the brackets are tightened they may have to pay partially.

"We live on reduced Social Security. That is our total income and that would become a total burden for us. I mean we're having trouble now," said Ray Keisel.

County leaders say the change won't affect those 100 percent disabled. But for others, like wheelchair-bound Barbara Keefe, the possible change can be scary. She too knows what it's like to live on a fixed income.

"My medical is limited, I have to pay for my medications, I have health problems and I also have to wear a wheelchair so if I have to pay, it'll put me in a place where I wouldn't be able to feed myself," said Keefe.

The county held a public hearing, Wednesday. They haven't made a decision yet. County officials say they expect about 4,200 applications for the program this year. The deadline is April 1. If you apply now, you can get in under the current policy.

Here's a breakdown of the possible changes:

Tax Relief Proposed Changes

Criteria Current Program Design
Proposed Program Design
Annual Income Limit $52,000 $52,000
Net Worth Limit $350,000 $350,000
Acreage Exemption Up to 10 acres Up to 10 acres
Relative's Income Exemption Up to $10,000 Up to $10,000
Relief Cap

No cap on $0]37k, $2,000 on other tiers

No cap on any tier
Tiers

$0]37k, 100%
$37]48.5k, 60%
$48.5]52k, 35%

$0]27.2k, 100%
$27.2]39k, 60%
$39]52k, 35%

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