Tax Freeze Amendment Fizzles Before Council Vote
The amendment proposed by Councilman Ted Jendzejec was not seconded at Monday's meeting.
At Monday night's meeting, members of the Coventry Town Council discussed a proposal, originally introduced by Councilman Ted Jendzejec last year to amend Article III of Section 217 of the Coventry Code of Ordinances. The amendment would allow senior citizens that currently have their property taxes frozen to come off of the tax freeze and pay taxes on the lower assessed value of their properties until values increase, a point at which they could take the freeze once again. Currently, once a resident drops the tax freeze, they are not given another opportunity to take advantage of it.
After much discussion, no council members would provide a second to move forward with the amendment, allowing nothing to come from the Jendzejec'sproposal.
Jendzejec explained that allowing seniors to come off the tax freeze while assessments are low would allow many of them to keep their homes instead of having to sell. He said that this would control the school population from spiraling out of control, therefore saving taxpayers money that would have to be spent on the school budget if families with children moved into the vacated properties.
"You have to ask, if someone on the tax freeze sells their home and a family with school children comes in, at about $6,000 per child after the state reimbursement, what will that do for the tax rate?" he asked.
"I believe this amendment would pay for itself in the long run," Jendzejec went on to say.
Council President Gary Cote argued that he does not think the amendment would be fair to those taxpayers who continue to pay full property tax that can fluctuate with the housing market.
"I just cannot justify the seniors and people who receive the disability tax freeze getting two bites at the same apple," he said. "I don't think it's fair that everyone else would have to pay for that twice through an increase in their own taxes when we all get the same services. When property values were higher, people on the freeze weren't coming forward offering to pay the higher tax amount."