Letter: Why should our senior citizens be treated differently, based on where they live?

Photo courtesy of the town of Greenburgh, via Facebook

To the editor:

The New York State Legislature should increase the maximum income amount that would make senior citizens eligible for partial senior tax breaks.  The last time the state Legislature increased the amount for Westchester County seniors and seniors around New York state was more than 15 years ago. An income of $37,399.99  enabled seniors to have a higher standard of living 15 years ago than it does today. If the Legislature approves this recommendation local governments (towns, villages, school districts) would have the option of approving the tax breaks — something we currently do not have.

Currently, the maximum income seniors could earn to receive a partial tax break is $37,399 — an amount that is very difficult to live on. In New York City, the Legislature authorized the city to offer tax breaks to seniors whose income does not exceed $50,000. Why should Westchester seniors be treated differently than seniors in New York City?

There are currently 461 seniors in the town of Greenburgh who are receiving partial senior tax breaks. There are about 285 seniors who are receiving a 50 percent reduction off their property taxes due to their income. The current law offers seniors whose income is less than $29,000 a 50 percent reduction off their taxes. There is a sliding scale. Those earning $36,500 to $37,399.99 get 5 percent off their taxes. The sliding scale amount should also be adjusted.

Paul Feiner

Greenburgh town supervisor