The Falls Church City Council voted recently to delay action on a proposal that would increase the number of elderly and handicapped residents eligible for the city's tax relief and rental assistance program.
The proposal, which the council is expected to vote on early in September, would raise the income and financial worth ceilings and thereby increase the number of individuals qualified for breaks on real estate taxes, personal property tax, city automobile tags and rental grants. It also would increase the amount of the current real estate tax breaks, from $450 to $600.
Out of a population of 10,000, no more than 54 residents qualified for the relief programs last year. City officials expect an additional 20 percent to qualify if the new plan is enacted.Under the current proposal, the income limits would be raised from $12,600 a year for one individual to $15,600, and combined financial-worth limits increased from $50,000 to $55,000. An individual would have to meet both limits to recieve program benefits, according to city officials.
The value of the homes is not included in financial-worth calculations.
The proposed increases follow on the heels of a General Assembly vote last session, permitting local jurisdictions to raise such ceilings and benefits. Although the General Assembly does not finance the programs -- the city must -- the state maintains control over the relief programs.
City officials say the increased income and financial worth limits would bring considerable help to some qualified applicants. Last year, the city granted more than $45,000 in tax and rental breaks. Combined with an estimated property tax this year, city officials said the amount of benefits should be much greater, although they could give no precise number.
If the increases are approved, they become effective Jan. 1, 1981.
In addition to the pending legislation, City Council member Garry D. Knight said he has asked the city's Senior Citizen Commission to review recommendations for waiving the real estae property tax by 100 percent and converting one of the city's unused buildings on Great Falls Street into a senior citizen's recreation hall.