Continuation of a tax credit for Greenwich's seniors has the endorsement of the Board of Selectmen and the Board of Estimate and Taxation (BET).
At its Feb. 18 meeting, the Board of Estimate and Taxation approved extending a program that allows for the reduction of property taxes owed to the town from eligible senior citizens. The Board of Selectmen had approved the continuation of the program at its Feb. 6 meeting.
The Senior Tax Relief Program is being reviewed because of a 5 year sunset clause originally included in the ordinance by the Representative Town Meeting (RTM), that would end the program unless it was re-approved by the town. The sunset provision expires on June 30, 2014. During its Feb. 6 meeting, First Selectman Peter Tesei and Selectman David Theis voted for the continuation of the ordinance as it is currently written, but Selectman Drew Marzullo did not because he didn't want the approved version to keep the sunset clause.
At its Feb. 18 meeting, many members of the Board of Estimate and Taxation expressed their desire to get rid of the sunset clause also, due to concerns about the possibility of its elimination in the future.
According to BET member William Finger, "there is a misunderstanding that we [BET] want the sunset clause but this is how it was presented to us, that we should review the ordinance every 5 years."
First Selectman Peter Tesei spoke on behalf of his decision to approve the ordinance as it is currently written, stating that a disapproval "could jeopardize the implementation of the program for this year" and he chose "the conservative route as to not risk the program."
Tesei also said that once the RTM acts upon the ordinance, the language of the ordinance can be revisited at any time.
Selectman Drew Marzullo defended his decision to vote against the ordinance's language because he believes "the RTM could approve the discontinuation of the sunset clause and the current Board of Selectman will not be here forever."
The Board of Estimate and Taxation's vote was unanimous in approving the current ordinance so as not to risk the implementation of the program in June. The ordinance will go before the Representative Town Meeting in its March meeting.