Senior Tax Program in full swing
By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – Several local men and women are having an opportunity to apply their talent and work experience, which is making them feel productive and appreciated once again as they participate in the newly established Senior Citizen Residential Property Tax Work-Off Program (SCRPT).
Bob Fagone, a teacher with prior experience as a Section 8 housing inspector, has been assigned to the Community Development Authority Housing office working with Marlborough Housing Director Doug Bushman in his office in the Walker Building. He said he thoroughly enjoys his duties.
“It is a great opportunity for me and the city,” Fagone said, “I’m saving money on taxes, and I feel like I am helping with clients in the housing program.”
A former real estate agent and long-time volunteer at the Marlborough Senior Center, Paulina Lynch is enjoying her new position as greeter in City Hall. She enjoys interacting with staff people and visitors and looks forward to her hours of service on Mondays and Thursdays.
“I direct people to various departments in City Hall, always with a smile,” she said.
Both department heads and volunteers are offering positive comments about the program, according to Council on Aging Director Jennifer Claro.
“Many of our volunteers are working more than three hours a day,” she said. “Some are working eight hours two or three days a week and enjoying it.”
“I can personally speak on how nice it is to have individuals with professional skills, dedicated work ethic and a wonderful array of talent at your side when you need help,” Claro said.
“One of our SCRPT volunteers at the Senior Center, Marian Mamayek, a retired nurse, was working on a spreadsheet when one of the seniors hit her leg on the corner of her car door. It bled profusely and one could see she needed to get to the hospital. I was alarmed, so I asked Marian to take a look and she immediately handled the situation professionally and with ease.”
The program, proposed by Mayor Arthur Vigeant and approved by the City Council, allows the city to provide local property owners over the age of 60 a reduction of up to $1,000 on the amount paid on their property tax in exchange for volunteer services provided by them to the city of Marlborough. Currently 25 residents are participating in the SCRPT program, chosen from a field of 50 candidates, according to Mike Berry, executive aide to the mayor. Other city offices participating in the program are the Retirement Board, Phoenix Program, Special Education, Early Childhood Center and Public Works.
Claro said she is looking forward to a gathering of all SCRPT volunteers to hear of their experiences “working as a pioneer in the city’s first Property Tax Rebate Program. I also plan to send evaluations of this program to participating department heads on their experience with implementation of this new program.” She said she will share her findings with the mayor and his staff.
Applicants must be at least 60 years of age and a resident of the city for at least five consecutive years. They must own their own home and have an annual income less than $52,000 per year for a single filer; less than $65,000 if head of household, or less than $78,000 if married and a joint filer.
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