In an effort to provide targeted property tax relief to older homeowners, the Town of Hingham is once again providing a tax exemption for eligible seniors through the Assessor’s Office.
Hingham’s 2019 Annual Town Meeting approved a new “Senior Means-Tested Tax Exemption” for long-time residents who meet certain income and asset criteria. According to the 2019 Warrant, the goal of the tax exemption is to help these seniors continue to be able to afford to live in Hingham by alleviating the escalating tax burden that could force those on fixed incomes to sell their homes.
This is the second year the Town is offering this new property tax exemption to seniors. In an effort to boost participation in this program, the Town is engaging in outreach to educate as many residents as possible prior to the Sept. 1 application deadline.
“The Town of Hingham has always placed a priority on helping our senior population however we can, and this senior tax exemption is a perfect example of that,” Hingham Select Board Chair Bill Ramsey said. “We know how important it is for families to be able to stay in their homes, and we encourage all eligible seniors to use this program as a cost-saving measure and to reach out should they have any questions.”
Details about the program are as follows:
What is the benefit?
The maximum exemption amount for FY23 is $1,170. If you’re eligible, the credit will be applied to the property tax bill residents will receive in December 2022.
What Are the Eligibility Requirements?
- Age: Must be 65 or older (co-owner must be 60 or older) by Dec. 31, 2021.
- Residency: Must have owned and occupied a residence in Hingham for at least 10 consecutive years.
- Income: Annual income for 2021 cannot exceed $62,000 for single individuals, $78,000 for head of household, or $93,000 for married couples filing a joint return.
- Assessed value: Homeowner’s principal residence not to exceed $884,000.
- Assets: Applicants must not have excessive assets as determined by the Board of Assessors.
- State Tax Return: Must have claimed the State Circuit Breaker Tax Credit in 2021.
When is the Deadline?
Applications are due to the Assessor’s Office by Sept. 1. Applications are available in the Assessor’s Office on the first floor of Town Hall on Central Street or on the Town website at hingham-ma.gov/mte. All inquiries and submitted applications will remain confidential.
“The Board of Assessors and the Office of Assessors recognize that some Hingham residents struggle to pay their annual property taxes. It is our goal to make sure every homeowner who qualifies for one of the relief programs available is aware of them and what the requirements are to qualify," said Joshua Ross of the Board of Assessors. "It’s been great to see multiple town departments working together to get the information out. We also ask friends, family, and neighbors to spread the word if they know someone who might be able to take advantage of these programs.”
Residents have expressed gratitude for the program since it launched last year.
“This exemption will certainly be appreciated. We've lived in town for many years and want to remain in our home for as long as possible,” one resident said following last year’s program.
“Thank you so much to the Board of Assessor's. I am thrilled. I just received your [approval] letter with the good news. This will be a great help,” said another.
For residents not sure if they qualify for the senior tax exemption or who have other questions, the Assessor’s Office can be reached at 781-741-1455, Assessors@hingham-ma.gov, or in person at the Assessor’s office on the first floor of Town Hall.
Other Programs for Hingham Residents
The Town of Hingham offers a number of different property tax relief exemptions and programs for residents based on age, income, and veteran or disability status. In addition to the Senior Means-Tested Tax Exemption, exemptions are available for those experiencing financial hardship, residents over 65 years old, surviving spouses or persons over 70 years old, through the Elderly and Disabled Taxation Aid Fund, residents who are legally blind, various programs for disabled veterans, Gold Star families, and more. These programs have an April 1 deadline for applications to be submitted to the Assessor’s Office.
There are also tax workoff programs and a tax deferral program that can provide additional tax relief for Hingham residents.
More information on these exemptions and programs can be found on the Town’s website. Staff members in the Assessor’s Office are also available to help direct residents to the right programs.