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Trumbull Councilwoman: Proud of Trumbull's Senior Tax Relief

By Suzanne Testani

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.

Sincerely Yours,

Suzanne S. Testani

Vice Chairman

Trumbull Town Council

Joan January 26, 2013 at 08:30 PM
Sounds like the Herbst PR machine is working overtime to try to overcome the Stern Village scandal. They really do think our seniors are easily fooled.
Linda Ciocci January 26, 2013 at 10:24 PM
We need to define which senior commission we are talking about. Stern Village Commission or the Senior Center Commission at Priscilla Place. In my opinion both neglected by the Town. Linda
JR January 28, 2013 at 01:50 PM
You were appointed to the sewer regionalization committee. Could your next letter to the editor give us an update on that? How about a link to the meeting minutes?
Thomas Tesoro January 28, 2013 at 04:58 PM
Please remember that three years ago Ms. Thornton, then Minority leader in the Town Council, sponsored a resolution to improve the existing senior tax relief program for NEEDY seniors. Three years ago! Trumbull Republicans voted it down. That is right, Trumbull Republicans voted it down. As a candidate for First Selectman, Ms. Thornton proposed improving the Senior Tax Relief Program. Trumbull Republicans ridiculed the idea. So, what is the difference between those two situations and today? The only difference is who proposed the tax relief. Tax relief for needy seniors should have been passed three years ago when Ms. Thornton proposed it. Playing politics with people in need is not a good thing.
Thomas Tesoro January 28, 2013 at 05:03 PM
Two other points: Last year at the Board of Finance Level, a proposal was made (by me) to add $10,000 to the program budget for the senior center. This would have increased the program offerings to our seniors. Trumbull Republicans voted that down. Isn't it interesting that the Town Council could vote for a concert with knowing a the act, a vote that cost the taxpayers $70,000 but Trumbull Republicans could not scrape up a measly $10,000 to improve program offerings at our Senior Center. I urge all to watch the meeting of the Senior Commission when it is aired on Channel 17 (99 uverse) and see what you think. Good luck Ms. Ciocci, I thought you did a very credible job on the Senior Commission.

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