Chicopee is the latest Massachusetts town to give a tax discount to active-duty National Guard members who are sent overseas. The Chicopee City Council passed the measure unanimously earlier this year, and its now in the hands of the Board of Assessors to determine who can qualify for a property tax discount. Virginia Roback is a member of the Board. She says the ordinance will give active-duty reservists an average of $500 off their property taxes each year they are stationed outside the country. Roback says the Assessors haven’t finalize all the ordinance’s requirements, but should be done in the next six weeks.
“We do know that we want everyone to have owned property in Chicopee,” she says. “We haven’t determined how long they must have been a homeowner, so that’s one of the concepts that needs to be ironed out.”
The ordinance is part of a state law that went into effect in March 2011. But individual municipalities must enact the law for resident National Guard members to receive a property tax reduction. Other Massachusetts municipalities that have enacted the measure include Hardwick and Boston. The state does not reimburse cities and towns for any revenues lost by enacting the tax exemption.