By CLAIRE GALVIN
Chronicle Staff Writer
MANSFIELD â€” The Mansfield Town Council will host a public hearing to receive comments about a proposed amendment to the taxation ordinance to benefit veterans and their families.
The public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday in the council chambers of the Audrey P. Beck Municipal Building, 4 S. Eagleville Road, at 7 p.m.
The proposed changes concern tax benefits for certain veterans and surviving spouses or parents of veterans.
In October, the state legislature enacted two acts concerning property tax exemptions for veterans.
The first act allows towns to provide a tax exemption to a surviving parent or spouse of a service member killed during active military duty with the U.S. Armed Forces (Gold Star parent or spouse).
In this case, the town may extend up to $20,000 in benefits â€” or 10 percent of a propertyâ€™s assessed value.
The second act, allows towns to provide a tax exemption to veterans who do not qualify for certain existing property tax exemptions, like war-time, disabled and severe service-related exemptions.
As a result, the town may extend up to $5,000 in benefits â€” or 5 percent of the propertyâ€™s assessed value.
According to Mansfield Interim Town Manager John Carrington, the town is unaware of local Gold Star parents or spouses who are eligible for those tax adjustments.
Mansfield Tax Assessor Irene Luciano wrote in her memo to Carrington, however, this may change when the ordinance is approved and further advertised.
Luciano wrote there are currently 20 to 25 veterans living in Mansfield who are eligible for benefits from the second act.
If these veterans file their honorary discharge form with the town clerk and are eligible for these benefits, the town is looking at tax exemptions totaling around $2,000.
Neither of these exemptions are restricted by income.
The town will not be eligible for any reimbursement of these tax exemptions.
The item is included under old business in Tuesdayâ€™s agenda to discuss the public hearing, but according to council rules, the council may not amend, adopt or reject a proposed ordinance on the same day of the public hearing.
The town council may suspend that rule by a majority vote.
More information about the tax exemption is available in the councilâ€™s information packet at mansfieldct.gov.