To the Editor:
Last year, the Trumbull Town Council approved legislation submitted by the Herbst Administration as it relates to senior tax relief. The plan adopted in essence doubled the amount of relief for a vulnerable population that has struggled to stay in Trumbull and afford property taxes.
The plan adopted last year updated a ten year old program and simplified the current structure, while doubling senior tax relief for Trumbull’s most needy senior citizens. Almost two years ago, Connecticut earned the dubious distinction of being rated as one of the worst states to retire in, according to the Hartford Courant.
The bad economy has also hurt senior retirement funds, coupled with low increases in social security and increased Medicare costs. The State of Connecticut clearly is not concerned with reducing the tax burden on our seniors. Over the last two years, Connecticut residents saw the largest tax increase in state history, including retroactive tax increases.
As we watch the ongoing debate in Washington over the country’s financial condition, we see our federal leaders resorting to tax increases rather than reducing spending.
Despite the taxing and taking that is going on at the federal and state level, here in Trumbull, we have an administration that is looking for innovative ways to restrain spending while maintaining and enhancing Town services. The updates to senior tax relief proposed by the Herbst administration and approved by the Town Council last year will allow qualifying seniors to receive additional relief that will help them afford to deal with escalating costs being handed down by the federal and state government.
I would encourage Trumbull seniors to contact the Trumbull Tax Assessor’s office to see if they are now eligible under the new program. The First Selectman has also asked our legislative delegation to seek changes to state law which would allow municipalities the right to provide tax relief on car taxes. I am hopeful that our legislative delegation will pursue these changes.
I am also hopeful that recent changes to the Senior Citizen Commission will improve the services delivered by our senior center to Trumbull’s senior population. Whether that be programs at the senior center, or transportation services provided to our seniors, everything and anything we can do to improve the quality of life for our elderly population is appropriate.
As a member of the Town Council and veteran municipal Senior Center Professional, I also stand ready to assist the Town in needed reforms to Trumbull’s Housing Authority, specifically as they relate to the installation of a generator at the village and also fully implementing the emergency readiness plan recommended by the Town’s emergency management team more than a year and a half ago.
These reforms are intended to provide a strong quality of life for seniors. This is our moral obligation and we stand ready to meet this obligation. I am proud to have worked with the Herbst administration in doubling and improving our senior tax relief program in Trumbull.
Suzanne S. Testani
Trumbull Town Council