ACMi-21
Media partner

Site stats: July traffic | Cambridge Day: News >> 

Your View

Your View is the place for opinion at YourArlington.com. It is the site's only blog. Please submit your opinions to be considered for publication on this site. The best opinions are those supported by facts. You cannot expect to be published if your views lack factual support or if you make personal attacks. For your views to be published, your full, real name is required.
4 minutes reading time (864 words)

Curro urges yes on June ballot, outlines aid to seniors

Presenting the following viewpoint is Joseph A. Curro Jr., who has served since 2012 as an elected member of the Arlington Select Board. He also serves as a Town Meeting member for Precinct 15, as a member of the Long-Range Planning Committee and as the Select Board liaison to the Council on Aging:

yes ballot

Strong communities are built upon an intergenerational compact. We educate our young, who in turn take their places in society, sharing in the caring for our older neighbors and family members.

In calling for a debt exclusion to rebuild the high school and an operating override, the Select Board seeks to balance the needs of our younger and older residents. Arlington has been designated an Age-Friendly Community, which enables people to age in place and to maintain strong connections to the greater community. We can further those aspirations by promoting mobility options for our older residents, providing other avenues of assistance and alleviating the tax burden for those on fixed incomes.

One of the most consistent complaints I have heard as a Select Board member concerns deteriorating sidewalks and bricks, which make it difficult for seniors to walk safely.

We have made great strides toward a solution, supporting the removal of bricks as part of Senior Center renovations and dedicating parking meter revenue toward fixing this problem throughout Arlington Center. If voters approve the override, we are committed to increasing base budgets by one-quarter million dollars to complete the job of sidewalk brick removal and to provide additional support to our pedestrian infrastructure and senior transportation program. These actions are particularly important, as the Select Board has traditionally supported senior transportation with federal CDBG funds, which have been threatened with elimination by Washington.

Support for our seniors goes beyond issues of mobility or housing or the availability of other assistance programs. It also goes beyond funding for strong public safety, public libraries, public works and public parks, all of which will be preserved by a successful override vote.

Relief for seniors

Seniors on fixed incomes have expressed worries about their ability to pay for property tax increases. The Select Board has heard those concerns and worked with Town Meeting, our legislative delegation, and others over the past years to adopt the following relief measures:

● In 2012, Town Meeting lowered the interest rate for property tax deferrals for older residents and voted to increase the annual income limit for seniors to qualify for property tax deferrals.

● In 2014, the Select Board, Town Meeting, and voters all approved a full exemption from Community Preservation Act surcharges for income-eligible property owners, including those who would otherwise qualify for senior housing. This was in addition to a partial exemption for all property owners.

● In 2017, we created senior and veterans property tax work-off programs, and well as an Elderly and Disabled Tax Relief Fund. We also approved a Consumer Price Index adjustment for older residents, allowing more people to take advantage of certain tax exemptions.

● In 2018, we approved home rule legislation to give us greater flexibility to expand eligibility for the town’s property tax-deferral program.

● This year, the Select Board and Town Meeting will consider dramatically increasing income limits for the deferral program. We are also taking up home rule legislation to create a municipal circuit breaker program for income-eligible seniors that would provide assistance above and beyond popular state relief programs.

For further information on how to access the above-listed programs, as well as numerous other forms of assistance, residents are encouraged to contact the Council on Aging at 781-316-3400.

May 23 at Senior Center

On Thursday, May 23, at 2 p.m. at the Senior Center, the Council on Aging is holding a forum on senior tax relief. It is co-sponsored by the Select Board and Arlington’s state legislative delegation, and representatives from the Assessors’ Office will be in attendance.

In addition to targeted tax-relief programs, the Select Board has committed to removing $5,593,112 of water-and-sewer debt from property tax bills and shifting it to the water bill. While the result of this shift will be increased water and sewer rates, the change puts greater control in the hands of Arlington residents and will disproportionately benefit smaller households with lower water utilization. Many such households are headed by seniors.

There is broad agreement that we must rebuild our high school and provide current and future Arlington students with educational opportunities comparable to those enjoyed by past generations. We all benefit from investments in our schools and other public services and infrastructure that ultimately accrue to residents through a higher quality of life and increased home values. Many seniors’ homes represent their most valuable asset and an important part of their retirement savings.

We honor the past by building the future. I am reminded of the famous line from Ecclesiastes: “To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”This is a time to plant, a time to build up, and a time to gather stones together.

Please join me on Tuesday, June 11, in supporting our intergenerational compact by voting yes for both ballot questions.


This viewpoint was published Friday, May 10, 2019.


 

Town of Arlington to LGBTQIA+ students: You belong
 

Comments

Bob Sprague on Monday, 13 May 2019 13:14
What about renters?

The following comment was posted without a full name, contrary to YourArlington's policy. Yet it is being published because it represents a viewpoint often ignored:

Unfortunately, providing tax relief for Arlington's senior property owners does not address the needs of those of us who are renters. As property taxes rise, so will rents, harming both seniors and families. I understand that wait lists for subsidized senior housing are quite long. I also know that low income families wait years for Section 8 housing subsidies, and then find it almost impossible to find landlords who will accept those subsidies and the low rents that are required.

[b]The following comment was posted without a full name, contrary to YourArlington's policy. Yet it is being published because it represents a viewpoint often ignored:[/b] Unfortunately, providing tax relief for Arlington's senior property owners does not address the needs of those of us who are renters. As property taxes rise, so will rents, harming both seniors and families. I understand that wait lists for subsidized senior housing are quite long. I also know that low income families wait years for Section 8 housing subsidies, and then find it almost impossible to find landlords who will accept those subsidies and the low rents that are required.
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Saturday, 13 August 2022
If you'd like to register, please fill in the username, password and name fields.

Captcha Image

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.yourarlington.com/

YOUR VIEW: Opinions: AG, taxes, Hill's, news loss, poetry, Mugar, Alewife

Your Businesses

Latest comments

Bob Sprague Letters: Emailing Advocate & Star? Copy it here; it'll be published first
17 January 2022
Let the public know with a letter to the editor. For details, see https://www.yourarlington.com/easy...

Your People

Susan Papanek McHugh

Town rights commission cofounder dies at 66

McHugh UPDATED Aug. 4: Susan Rachel McHugh, a cofounder of the Arlington Human Rights Commission in 1993 and its first chairwoman, died in June after a brief illness at age 66. Those who worked with her remembered her immediately after her June 20 passing. The Boston Globe published her obituary…
Julian Carpenter, Berklee drummer./ Liam Garcia photo

'Tiger Wizard,' an AHS grad, drums up a future

Julian Carpenter, Berklee drummer. / Liam Garcia photo Musician Julian Carpenter, a 2019 Arlington High School grad, aims to feel the beat of the big time as he is among the performers at the Lollapalooza Festival, four days of sounds in Chicago that runs from rap to electro pop and indie to…

Housing Authority

FACEBOOK BOX: To see all images, click the PHOTOS link just below

 



Support YourArlington

An informed Arlington
keeps democracy alive
:
Why we are your news source >>

Donate Button

YourArlington is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

Your contributions are tax-deductible.

Your Arts

Your Democracy

Your Housing

Your Police, Fire

Site Partners