Senior citizens in Scarborough may soon be eligible for tax relief from the town.

The town’s finance committee, meeting last week for the first time this year, focused on implementing a program in Scarborough that could help seniors on a fixed income pay their taxes. Though this was the first time the committee had discussed the program, everyone present was positive about its potential in Scarborough.

“I feel very strongly about a circuit-breaker program,” said Councilor Ronald Ahlquist, using the terminology of a similar state program. Councilor Shawn Babine added, “I support this 100 percent.”

The councilors discussed using programs developed by both York and Cumberland as models for the one they plan on developing.

York has had its program in place for about three years, but adjustments had to be made because there were too many applicants, according to Cliff Estes, a member of York’s Tax Task Force committee.

Cumberland is still in the process of getting the program going.

“I’m hoping we vote on it by June,” said Cumberland Councilor Ronald Copp. According to Copp, anyone in Cumberland who qualifies for the state program will qualify for the town program. The most relief anyone can receive is $500.

“I think everybody likes the idea,” Copp said.

For the first year, only citizens 70 years and older would be eligible for the program in Cumberland. After the year is over, officials will decide whether the town could afford to lower the age of eligibility.

In Scarborough, the finance committee requested that Town Manager Ron Owens look into the possibility of starting the program at both 65 and 70 years, in order to be able to determine which will fit into Scarborough’s budget.

Scarborough resident Richard Thurston, 65, of Whistler Landing ,thinks the program is a great idea.

“We need every break we can get,” he said. As far as the age of eligibilty is concerned, he added, “the sooner, the better.”


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