Wednesday, June 18, 2008

No real estate tax breaks for seniors

Many US towns have programs that give tax breaks to seniors when they pay their real estate tax. Many seniors have little income, and those taxes make a substantial portion of their income. However, in most circumstances, they should not be taking these breaks.

Indeed, they mostly likely own a mortgage free home. In other words, they are sitting on a substantial amount of equity, something that younger households do not have. They need not pay down their mortgage. And they typically do not have to put children in college.

The problem seniors have is a problem is lack of liquidity, not lack of funds. Instead of forgiving part of the tax, towns should be putting a lien on the property to the amount of the forgiven tax. Seniors should also explore reverse mortgages, which allow to cash in on the savings they have made through their house. Why die leaving an unexploited fortune?

1 comment:

Independent Accountant said...

When it comes to tax matters, we are almost always on the oppostie side. You favor tax increases, I favor reductions. Almost all tax reductions. As Uncle Miltie noted, probably before you were born, tax increases increase deficits. Why? They encourage more spending.