Article 54 – Special Act – Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Exemption
What is the immediate effect of the approval of Article 54 on the taxpayers of Sudbury?
There is no immediate effect on Sudbury taxpayers. The system of property tax assessment and collection in the Town has not changed because of the passage of Article 54. No town or city in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has the legal ability to create new exemptions or preferences for its taxpayers. Only the State Legislature, also known as the General Court, has the authority to make such changes, within the bounds of the Constitution of the Commonwealth. Taxpayers who are 60 and older should be aware that their property tax bill for the upcoming year will not be reduced because of Article 54, nor will any other taxpayer see an increase due to Article 54.
Then what did approval of Article 54 accomplish? What is the next step?
Article 54 instructs the Selectmen to petition the State Legislature to enact a special law that would change how property taxes are levied in the Town of Sudbury. The approval of Article 54 means that the Town, through its Board of Selectmen, will as the next step in the process send the petition, as approved by Town Meeting, to our State Representative, Susan Pope. Representative Pope will file a bill based on this petition. An explanation of how a petition becomes law can be found on the General Court’s website: www.state.ma.us/legis. See the section on legislative process at the bottom of the home page.
How can residents of Sudbury offer their opinion to Representative Pope regarding this petition?
Residents can email, write, or call Representative Pope as well as Senator Susan Fargo and Senator Pam Resor, the two senators who represent Sudbury in the state senate. Their addresses and phone numbers can be found on the General Court’s website (see address above) and links to their offices can be found on the Town’s website: www.town.sudbury.ma.us .
How can residents of Sudbury follow the progress of Article 54 after it has been sent to Representative Pope?
Once the petition has been filed as a bill, it will be assigned a bill number. The General Court’s website (see address above) allows tracking by bill number. Once a bill number has been assigned, the Town Manager will post this information on our website.