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Senior Tax Credit Work-off program announced

Date: 2/28/2014

By G. Michael Dobbs

HOLYOKE – Holyoke residents Sandy Swan and Phil Greco both said that they would participate once again in the city’s Senior Tax Credit Work-off program.

Swan said she would volunteer for the city in lies of a $750 property tax credit “in a heartbeat.”

Mayor Alex Morse along with Council on Aging Executive Director Kathy Bowler and Wilfredo Melendez, the deputy director of the city’s veteran’s office, jointly announced this year’s programs on Feb. 25.

The Senior Tax Credit Work-off program requires selected seniors to work 100 hours to receive the $750 tax break. A program for city veterans trades 125 hours of service for a $1,000 credit.

Swan said she worked at the Farmers’ Market and enjoyed it. “You meet a lot of nice people,” she said. She has been selected through the application process in the past and will apply again this year.

Greco said that he worked in the veterans’ office cleaning and organizing files.

“It’s was a good job with very friendly people,” he said.

When asked if he would apply again, he laughed and said, “Did already – yesterday.”

Bowler explained the program matches the participants’ experiences and skills with the available job in appropriate city departments such as the Wistariahurst Museum, the City Library and the mayor’s office.

Morse said the two programs are a “win-win” for the city.

“It’s a win for the city because it gets additional resources, knowledge and manpower,” Morse said.

Considering the average residential tax bill is $3,000 annually, the mayor added, the abatements are valuable.

There are 30 slots in the senior program and 20 in the veterans’ program.

Melendez said the program for veterans is available for residents of all ages and the deadline to apply is May 1. Questions should be directed to the veterans’ office, he added.

For the senior program the deadline to apply is March 31, Bowler said and applications are available at the senior center.