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Letter: Senior Tax Prop. 'Hypocrisy'

By Carole Lalor

To the editor:

Wake up fellow seniors and smell the hypocrisy!

The new senior tax abatement “proposal” that Timothy Herbst sent to the Town Council reeks of desperation. After telling residents for months that there isn’t any money in the budget for our schools or other programs, Herbst suddenly comes up with a plan that would cost the town between $340,375 and $575,000.

If this isn’t a transparent attempt to lure senior voters with a wink and a promise, why put forth this slapdash plan now? Why not wait until the details are fully thought through and (as always seems to be the case with Timothy) the town attorneys consulted as to the legality of the plan? At the moment, all we have is an ill-conceived idea that may or may not be legal, and that may or may not be enacted.

I’m sure most residents—I included—would gladly support easing the financial burden on seniors who are truly having trouble making ends meet.  In fact, First Selectman candidate and Town Councilwoman Mary Beth Thornton has co-sponsored some of the strong senior tax relief programs that already benefit our neighbors today. Unfortunately, her most recent proposals to aid seniors were tabled by the town Republicans who did not consider senior tax relief a priority before election season.

One big problem with the current Herbst proposal is that it could end up giving tax breaks to wealthier citizens, while offering no tax relief to those in need. As currently described, the plan would offer a deduction of $5,000 from automobile tax assessments to all seniors, regardless of financial status. So a senior who is well-off financially, and who owns an expensive car, would get a whopping savings of $125 in his or her taxes at the current mill rate. Would I like that? Sure, but not at the expense of our schools, parks and roads. And meanwhile, another senior who cannot even afford a car, and is clearly struggling, would get nothing.

Furthermore, where will the money come from to offset the cost of this program? Should younger and middle-aged residents—including many who are also struggling to get by in the sagging economy—be asked to pay for a program that benefits even financially secure seniors?

Clearly, in his haste to release this plan during election season, Timothy has not thought this through. Either that or he sent this “proposal” to the Town Council in its slipshod state, hoping that our senior would fail to see through his attempt to sway them with empty promises. What clearly bothers me is that Mr. Herbst thinks that seniors can be bought. Not so! Our seniors are either of “the greatest generation” or are their children and we know our responsibilities as citizens.

Mr. Herbst and his Republican-controlled Town Council had two years to enact senior tax abatement. If they really had the interests of our seniors at heart, why did they wait until now, and then put forth a flawed proposal?

Carole A. Lalor

Trumbull

Tiredof October 15, 2011 at 01:02 PM
Joan it isn;t about power or control but leadership. She voted in favor of the increases....member because she is so wealth she doesn't understand, i mean didn;t she put on Youtube her lavish kitchen and then take it off the internet? She doesn't understand what all those votes to incease taxes have done to regular people.
Pablo Sevilla October 15, 2011 at 02:42 PM
I am tired period. I am done. This is my forth and last post. I am not cut out for the game of politics. I am a teacher. I work with adolescents who now a thing or two about the truth. GOOD LUCK to you all. Rest assure that this is my last post and that I will not waste one more minute away from my children because of politics.
Joan October 15, 2011 at 04:58 PM
From what I have seen, Mary Beth Thornton is a very down-to-earth person who can relate to the needs of everyone in Trumbull--moms, homeowners, seniors, etc. If she can't understand the effects of taxes, then why did she sponsor tax abatement programs for our senior citizens and for those with disabilities? Herbst can't match that record. In fact, his party tabled her most recent proposals. He also can't relate to the needs and concerns of parents. He demonstrated that amply in this year's budget fiasco. Thornton has shown the leadership to actually get tax relief programs passed, whereas Herbst has only made a weak attempt to propose an illegal tax relief program weeks before the election hoping our seniors would be fooled. So, who is the one who understands what taxes do "to regular people?"
Joan October 15, 2011 at 05:00 PM
And yet the tax increase in Baldwin's last term was lower, was it not, than either of Herbst's tax increases? Seems like you need to reacquaint yourself with the facts!
TrumbullProgressive October 18, 2011 at 05:56 AM
The truth does hurt. Must be why Tiredof generally avoids it so much.

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