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Mayor Walsh signs home rule petition to provide tax relief for Boston's long-term homeowners

February 3, 2015

Mayor's Office

Published by:

Mayor's Office

This effort will give qualifying homeowners the option to defer their property taxes to be paid with interest at a later date.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced that he signed onto the Long-Term Homeowners Tax Deferral Home Rule Petition, proposed by Councilors Bill Linehan and Stephen J. Murphy. This effort will give qualifying homeowners the option to defer their property taxes to be paid with interest at a later date.

“Residents should know that they have options in the face of rising property taxes,” said Mayor Walsh. “This is one of several steps the City of Boston is taking to give homeowners some relief immediately, while implementing long-term solutions to combat rising housing costs.”

"I would like to thank Mayor Walsh for signing the Tax Deferral Home Rule Petition that I co-sponsored with Councilor Murphy," said Councilor Bill Linehan. "This tax deferral program will give long term home owners that are land rich but cash poor much needed tax relief and will help them stay in their homes. I look forward to working with our State Legislature on getting this passed for the residents of Boston."

"Councilor Linehan and I sponsored this Home Rule Petition to make certain that long term homeowners are able to stay in their homes,said Councilor Stephen Murphy. "With
the Mayor's signature, we send this to Beacon Hill as a United City!"

The Long-Term Homeowner Tax Deferral is intended to provide relief to qualifying Boston homeowners who are having difficulty affording their real estate tax liability. A tax deferral is a tax agreement between the homeowner and the City, which allows the homeowner to defer their property taxes until the sale, transfer, or death of the owner. The current annual interest rate of 4% per year, will be applied at the time of payment. Because it is the City’s borrowing rate, there will be no fiscal impact on the City.

To qualify for the Long-Term Homeowner Tax Deferral, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Aged 55 or older as of July 1 of the tax year;
  • Owned and occupied the property for at least 10 years as of July 1 of the tax year;
  • Gross income not exceeding the income limit for the “Circuit Breaker” state income tax credit for single seniors who are not heads of household established by the state’s Department of Revenue;
  • Real estate tax liability, as reduced by abatements, that exceeds the prior year real estate tax liability, as reduced by abatements, by 10% or more.
  • Submit a deferral application within (3) months after the date on which the 3rd quarter tax bill or notice of assessment was sent or by April 1 of the tax year, whichever is later.

The Long-Term Homeowners Tax Deferral Home Rule Petition is modeled after an existing property tax deferral program available to seniors over the age of 65, who own and occupy their property as their primary residence. Last year,  28 applicants qualified for the seniors tax deferral for seniors. For more information, contact the Mayor’s 24-hour hotline at 617-635-4500.