Senior Veteran Work Off Program

 

Town of Blackstone

Senior Citizen Property Tax Work-Off Program

Conditions and Requirements

 

Eligibility Requirements:

Age 60 or older or a Veteran as of July 1 of the year in which the application is made

Resident of Blackstone

Own and occupy the property for which Blackstone taxes are paid:

Taxpayers must be the assessed owner of the property on which the tax to be abated is assessed, or have acquired ownership before the work is performed and the abatement applied. If the property is subject to a trust, the senior must have legal title, ie., be one of the trustees on the applicable January 1st assessment date, or at the time the work is performed.

Have resided in the town of Blackstone for at least five (5) years

Be current with tax payments

Complete a CORI check

Subject to random drug and alcohol testing

Town employees are not eligible

Selection Process:

Applicant must meet eligibility requirements

Applicant must have appropriate skills for position

Applicant and department head must both agree position is an appropriate match

Upon agreement, applicant must complete W4 & I-9 with identification back up

Benefit Limits:

$11.00 per hour for all positions –(States minimum wage  as of 1/1/17)

Maximum amount of abatement is $1,000.00 per homeowner (91 hours) or combined benefits for homeowner and spouse is 136 hours or $1,500.00

Maximum number of compensated hours worked is 91 hours per year per single adult

In no case shall an applicant’s tax reductions be in excess of taxes owed in a given year

Level of Town appropriation will determine the maximum number of participants

Treatment of “Earned” Amount:

The amount of the property tax reduction earned by the taxpayer under this program is NOT considered income or wages for purposes of state income tax withholding, unemployment compensation or workmen’s compensation.  The United State Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has ruled that under current federal law the abatement amount is included in the taxpayer’s gross income for both federal income tax and Federal Insurance Contribution Act (FICA) tax purposes, however.  In addition, if the community pays the taxpayer’s share of FICA taxes, that amount is also income subject to federal income tax.  Communities should verify with the RIS that their procedures comply with all applicable federal laws regarding income, Social Security and Medicare tax withholding on abatements earned under this program.

Job Placement:

Available positions will be determined by department heads

Applicants will be interviewed by the Department Heads before approval is complete

There will be a two-week probationary period to assess the appropriateness of placement

Applicants will be placed within municipal departments

Term of Program:

Program runs from Dec. 1 of one year through November 30 of the following year

Abatement credit will be issued on Jan 1 bill of the year following work off completion

All application and all forms must be completed and submitted to the Senior Center Director prior to applicant’s position starting date

Applicants are eligible for one year only unless there are positions that remain open

Time sheets must be submitted weekly to supervisor for approval

A Certificate of Completion form must be submitted from the supervisor to the Board of Assessors

Termination:

Three (3) unexcused absences will result in termination from the program.  All scheduled hours and any changes in those hours must be approved by the department head to be considered excused. Please keep in mind, these positions are an important contribution to the department, please treat them as so.

Insurance:

A Senior working for Tax relief is not considered an employee pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter 59, Section 5k, a person over the age of 60 years old who volunteers their service in exchange for tax relief is not entitled to benefits under Chapter 152. Should an individual be injured while participating in the tax work off program, the individuals health insurance would be primary and coverage for out of pocket expenses (ie. Deductibles) would be covered by the town. 

How to Apply:

Applications are available at the Senior Center 

*as of 1/1/17 the State minimum wage is $11.00 per hour