Sunderland May Give Tax Relief To Service Families

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(Host) Town Meeting voters in Sunderland will consider eliminating town taxes this year for National Guard and Reserve troops serving overseas.

VPR’s Susan Keese has more.

(Keese) One item on the warning would eliminate property taxes next year for local residents who have served, or are serving in the current conflict. Another article applies to soldiers who rent, rather than own their homes. If the item passes, the town would issue them up to $300 a year during the time they’re in combat.

Sunderland resident Michael DiMonda, a Desert Storm Veteran, proposed the articles. He says it would mean one less thing the soldiers have to worry about.

(DiMonda) "What I wanted to do was to get them a little bit of relief from paying their town taxes, which could be from two or three thousand dollars. And for people who didn’t have the property it would be a little bit of a thank you for doing their job."

(Keese) DiMonda says as far as he knows now the benefit would affect four or five families in this town which has about 800 people. He says the money would amount to a little more than $10,000.

Another article in the package DiMonda recently presented to the town Selectboard would double the current tax exemption for disabled veterans. Sunderland town clerk Rose Keough says the board seemed very open to the idea.

(Keough) "I think it’s a very positive item to bring before the voters. I, I don’t know how many people – myself included – really thought that our National Guard especially would be called overseas. That was kind of a shock. So I think it adds a burden to those families to have our National Guard people overseas and I think we do need to show them support."

(Keese) DiMonda says he also hopes to get the items on town meeting warnings in Arlington and Dorset.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Susan Keese.

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