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Housing Costs

Ways to Help Adults Understand and Use All the Property Tax Relief Options in Massachusetts

Did you know that the “circuit breaker” income tax credit and local property tax deferral and exemption programs are the largest financial benefits available to older adult homeowners!?

Let’s make elder economic security a reality! Please do all that you can to convince adults to use these large financial reliefUse the tax relief informational handouts on this page – they are easy to modify with your local phone numbers.

  • Include reminders or the full Circuit Breaker fact sheet in your winter and spring newsletters.
  • When hosting lunches, other classes and events, also mention the town exemptions and deferrals application time period, usually the fall, and the materials you have on hand to help them.
  • Download and print enough of the state income tax and circuit breaker forms – both Form 1 and Schedule CB — so you can have a stack on hand for folks to take home.
  • Send out blast emails about the town deferrals/exemptions as well as the state circuit breaker income tax credit.
  • Hold a special educational forum with your local tax assessor as the featured speaker in the early fall so attendees can have time to apply before the December deadline.
  • Post posters reminding folks of the application deadlines.

Please download these 3 fact sheets, insert your local contact information, and then distribute widely to elder households across your community.

Also see the latest Circuit Breaker credit information on

Advice for How to Partner with Town Tax Assessor to Educate Homeowners

  • Try to build a stronger partnership with your local board of assessors so they may jointly conduct community events with you about the property tax relief programs in your town. If they are more involved in educating older adults, it will increase the likelihood that their office staff will work to enroll more taxpayers in need of these financial relief options. Arrange to meet with the Assessor to talk about in person education events and publishing information about the relief options.
  • Host an annual education event (or more as needed), with reserved seating, for homeowners in your community where the assessor and COA staff explain the options and application requirements.
  • Confirm if there is a local fact sheet on all the property tax relief programs in town. If not, create one together.
  • Discuss adding this new fact sheet to your mutual community web site pages.
  • Publish the fact sheet in your newsletter at the appropriate time of year. Combine the program information with an explanation about the MA Public Policy goal for no senior to pay more than 10% of their income on property taxes. See circuit breaker history for more details.
  • Direct seniors to the Assessor for questions and counseling.
  • Ask the tax aides and accountants as well as the Assessor’s office staff to refer seniors to your outreach staff when they discern that the senior’s income is below the MA Elder Index for Economically Insecure Elders so that the outreach staff can help the senior identify and enroll into other financial assistance programs

Massachusetts Councils
on Aging

116 Pleasant Street, Suite 306
Easthampton, MA 01027
Telephone: 413-527-6425
Fax: 413-527-7138