Springfield, MA – Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and City Council President Marcus Williams are providing information for continued relief and assistance for residents and businesses. For qualifying applicants, residents and businesses can seek relief and assistance through a variety of options, ranging from property tax exemptions through the City’s Assessor’s Office to securing local RFP funding from the City of Springfield’s allocation of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding through the City’s Department of Recovery and Business Continuity.
For City of Springfield Property Taxes, Mayor Sarno, Council President Williams and Chairman of the Board of Assessors Attorney Patrick Greenhalgh would like to remind residents that there are two types of applications. Homeowner Personal Exemption applications and Property Overvalueapplications. Below is a quick description and key dates and deadlines for filing.
- The deadline for Springfield Property Homeowner Personal Exemptions, for qualifying persons, per state statute, is April 1, 2022. All property tax exemption applications must be filed and received by the City of Springfield Assessor’s Office no later than the deadline stated.
|Age 70 or over*||17D||$175.00||April 1, 2022|
|Widow or Widower*||17D||$175.00||April 1, 2022|
|Age 70 or higher**||41C||$500.00||April 1, 2022|
|Veterans, either: minimum 10% disabled, Purple Heart, Gold Star parents/spouses||22 a-f||$400.00||April 1, 2022|
|Veterans, either: severely disabled or other specific criteria||22 A-F||$750 up to full exemption||April 1, 2022|
|Blind||37||$437.50||April 1, 2022|
|Senior Tax Deferral||41A||N/A
Tax is deferred in full until sale or death, when full tax and accrued interest are due. NOTE: Deferred amounts are recorded as a lien against the property
|April 1, 2022|
*Applicants must document they meet financial qualifications pertaining to assets. The limit on assets not including your domicile is $40,000 if single/widow and $50,000 if married.
** Applicants must document they meet financial qualifications pertaining to income and assets. The limit on income including an exemption for social security income is $24,911 if single/widow and $37,367 if married. The limit on assets not including your domicile is $40,000 if single/widow and $50,000 if married.
The Assessor’s Office encourages all residents who are unsure if they might qualify, to call or come into the Assessor’s Office in order to discuss privately. The Assessor’s Office phone number is (413) 886-5256.
- Overvalue applications are mostly used to appeal the fair market value of your home to the Board of Assessors. If you believe the assessed value of your property exceeds the fair market value, it is your right to file. The deadline for City of Springfield FY21 Overvalue Applications for Abatements on Real and Personal Property valuations is February 1, 2022. Applications must be submitted to the Assessor’s Office. The Overvalue Application will be available online, at the Assessors’ Office or by calling the 311 Citizens Service Center once the third quarter bill is mailed.
- If the application is not filed by the close of business on February 1, 2022, you lose all rights to an abatement and pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws, the Assessors cannot grant you one. An application is considered timely filed when received by the close of business in the Assessor’s Office or mailed by only US Mail, first class postage pre-paid to the proper address of the Assessors on or before February 1, 2022 as shown by the postmark made by the United States Postal Service.
The Assessor’s Office is located in Room 9 of City Hall, 36 Court Street. Office hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The mailing address for the Board of Assessors is 36 Court Street, Room 9, Springfield, MA 01103.
Mayor Sarno states, “Council President Marcus Williams, Chairman of the Board of Assessors Patrick Greenhalgh and I would like to encourage our residents to take advantage of any and all tax relief measures that might be available either locally or from the state.”
Council President Williams added, “On behalf of the Springfield City Council, I would like to remind residents to see if they might qualify for one of these local property tax exemptions and if so to contact our Assessor’s Office and get their application filed before the deadline. I would also encourage residents to spread the word about the forms of assistance offered.”
Board of Assessors Chairman Greenhalgh stated, “Hundreds of city households receive this relief annually. We want to be sure that all qualifying persons are aware of the due dates, and how they might qualify. The Mass Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit, which is available by the State Department of Revenue when filing your state income tax return, and our local property tax exemptions, can provide relief for those households that are eligible. For more information, please visit the City’s website or call our 311 Call Center.”
Additionally, the deadline for filing for the Massachusetts Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit for Owners and Renters is April 15, 2022, which is the due date for state income tax returns. Those tax returns are filed with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, not the Assessor’s office.
The Mass Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit is available for seniors age 65 or older, by January 1, 2022, and who meet certain income guidelines: $62,000 for single; $78,000 for head of household; $93,000 for married couples filing a joint return. Those eligible can receive a max credit of $1,170. Credit is based on the amount by which the sum of the property tax, and water and sewer charges exceeds ten percent of the taxable income.
Those interested in filing for the Mass Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit must do so by filing an individual income tax return with the state Department of Revenue. For tax year 2018, nearly 1,500 city households received an average $809 in income tax credit for a total of $1.2 million credited or refunded to city taxpayers. For more information, please visit the Massachusetts Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit website at: www.mass.gov/info-details/massachusetts-senior-circuit-breaker-tax-credit
In addition, Mayor Sarno and Council President Williams would like to remind residents and businesses to seek relief and assistance by reviewing and applying for the City of Springfield’s ARPA RFP’s. RFP’s are currently available to provide much-needed relief for small businesses, new businesses, nonprofits, households and senior citizens. RFP applications and additional information and guidelines can be found on the City of Springfield’s website at www.springfield-ma.gov/finance/arpa or by visiting City Hall, the Municipal Facility Building at 70 Tapley Street or at any of the local neighborhood library branches.
Mayor Sarno states, “My Administration is committed to getting these much-needed RFP’s out for our residents and business community ASAP. To prepare for the release of these RFP’s, my dedicated ARPA team and I met with nearly 30 neighborhood councils and organizations to hear directly from them what their needs are and how we could best utilize our local ARPA funding allocation to benefit our residents and business community.”
Councilor Williams stated, “The City of Springfield has done a thorough job in hearing from our residents, neighborhoods and partner agencies on how we can best capitalize on getting the most out of our local allotment of federal ARPA funding. I am confident that these ARPA RFP’s will greatly benefit our community and help provide relief and assistance for our residents and businesses.”
“I want to thank Council President Marcus Williams for his leadership and continued partnership working with myself and my dedicated city team as we look to capitalize on this transformative opportunity before us,” Mayor Sarno continued. “These RFP’s will provide direct relief and assistance to our residents and business community across our City and throughout all of our neighborhoods. In addition, I will continue to meet and work with our local state delegation to make sure that the City of Springfield receives its fair share of the states $5.2 billion in federal ARPA funding. We are also looking forward to seeing how the City of Springfield can directly benefit from the newly passed federal Infrastructure Bill. Stay tuned.”
Furthermore, Mayor Sarno and Council President Williams would also like to encourage residents in need of mortgage, rent and utility assistance to reach out to Way Finders.
Thanks to a combination of emergency financial assistance under several programs funded by federal, state, and City of Springfield sources, between March 2020 and July 2021, Way Finders was able to assisted over 6,700 households in the region, distributing $33,737,809. As part of this successful and vital program, back in June 2020, Mayor Sarno and Chief Development Officer Tim Sheehan allocated $2 million in funding to support Way Finders so that they could continue to provide relief and assistance for qualifying Springfield renters and homeowners with their rent, mortgage and utility charges. The program supported many Springfield families and property owners and due to the high demand for relief and assistance, Mayor Sarno provided an additional $300,000 to support Way Finders Mortgage Assistance Program.
Springfield residents who find themselves behind with overdue rent, mortgages and utility chargescan apply to Way Finders Emergency Assistance Program at RAFT/ERMA & Other Emergency Financial Assistance Application. An applicant can also call Way Finders at (413) 233-1600. Way Finders can assist with overdue rent, mortgage, and utility charges. The program has recently been modified to allow landlords of properties with 20 or fewer units to begin the application process themselves.
The chart below outlines the relief offered to renters, landlords and homeowners during these troubling times:
|RAFT||Residential Assistance for Families in Transition||Below 50% of AMI||Up to $4,000 or $10,000|
|ERMA||Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance||Between 50%-80% AMI||Up to $4,000|
|SRMA||Springfield Rent & Mortgage Assistance||Below 80% of AMI||Up to $4,000|
|Household Size||50% AMI||80% AMI|
|1||$0 – $29,900||$0 – $47,850|
|2||$0 – $34,200||$0 – $54,650|
|3||$0 – $38,450||$0 – $61,500|
|4||$0 – $42,700||$0 – $68,300|
|5||$0 – $46,150||$0 – $73,800|
|6||$0 – $49,550||$0 – $79,250|
|7||$0 – $52,950||$0 – $84,700|
|8||$0 – $56,400||$0 – $90,200|
Mayor Sarno states, “Thousands of households lost income over the last 18 months due to the pandemic. I want them to know that there is help available to pay overdue housing costs and remain in their homes, but the time to apply for assistance is now. I want to thank Way Finders President and CEO Keith Fairey and his dedicated team for being our conduit for this much-needed program. CDO Tim Sheehan and I have committed over $2 million in grant funding to assist renters and homeowners so that they can stay in their homes.”
Councilor Williams added, “This much-needed relief and assistance will help individuals and families in need that have fallen on hard times stay in their homes. I am proud to say that the City of Springfield has been at the forefront of several positive and impactful initiatives and programs that provide relief and assistance to our residents and businesses. Working with Mayor Sarno and his Administration, the City Council will continue to support and push these relief and assistance initiatives and programs forward so that our residents and businesses can take advantage and benefit from them.”