The Board of Selectmen at its August 16 meeting closed the warrant for the Special Town Meeting to be held on September 12 at the RMHS Performing Arts Center. The purpose for the Selectmen calling this meeting is for Town Meeting to consider two articles dealing with tax relief for senior citizens and one for a special report. Article Six will ask Town Meeting to consider lowering the interest rate for senior tax deferral from 8% to 4%. In this program, seniors who qualify can defer a portion of their taxes until they sell their home, paying interest on the amount deferred. By state law, if the senior passes away while still living in the home, the rate becomes 12%.
Closing of Warrant from RCTV’s Coverage
Article Seven will ask Town Meeting to adopt the Senior Tax Relief program that the Selectmen endorsed at its August 9 meeting. This plan would allow senior citizens over the age of sixty-five who have owned a home in Reading for at least ten years, whose property tax bill accounts for at least ten percent of their total income, and who have qualified for the Senior Citizen Tax Credit offered on their state income taxes to be given a reduction in their property taxes. The burden for this relief would be shifted to the rest of the residential tax payers in town.
In Article Eight, the Selectmen, Finance Committee and School Committee will present a report about potential upcoming budget concerns if a Proposition 2 1/2 override does not pass in the October 18 Special Election. Resident Bill Brown expressed concern that it is not the practice of Town Meeting to allow discussion of a report. Town Manager Bob LeLacheur responded that the reason for a different article for this report is to allow for discussion of the report, where typically discussion is not allowed under the reports offered under Article One at a Special Town Meeting.
The Special Town Meeting is expected to last only one night, but may continue into Thursday, September 15 if needed.