Easton to consider tax work-off option for veterans

On Nov. 19, Town Meeting voters will decide whether local veterans will be allowed to earn a credit of up to $1,000 toward their annual property tax bills through an expansion of the town’s senior tax abatement program. If the article is approved, veterans would be allowed to work 125 hours in a town job to earn the tax credit – the same arrangement seniors have. According to Council on Aging director Dolores Kent, who will keep track of the hours worked by program participants, veterans don’t need to meet an income guideline to qualify for the program, while seniors have an income cap they can’t exceed. Veterans who are disabled or elderly may designate a volunteer to work the 125 hours on their behalf, Kent said. The town currently has 25 openings under the senior tax abatement program. If the Town Meeting article passes, five new slots will be added for veterans. The state’s Valor Act, which contains provisions for the veterans’ tax abatement program, was signed by Governor Deval Patrick in late spring. Only a few towns to date have adopted the program.