Clause Exemptions for Fiscal Year 2020

The laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts provide for real estate tax relief for certain people. Each category of tax relief is defined, and the allowable amount stated, in the various clauses of Chapter 59, Section 5 of the General Laws. The table below summarizes who qualifies for these exemptions and the amounts of the various exemptions. State law also gives each city and town the option of increasing the exemption up to double the amounts. The Somerville Board of Aldermen, with the approval of the Mayor, has elected this option each year. The exemption amounts shown in the tables are therefore base exemption amounts. They can be increased up to double the amounts shown depending upon the amount each applicant’s tax bill has increased over the prior years’ taxes (except for senior work-off). Certain deductions are allowed from the income limits shown for the clause exemptions. You should call or come into the Assessors Office in City Hall to find out details. The asset limits do not include the value of owner occupied properties.

Clause Name Clause# Basic Qualifications as of 7/1/19 Other Qualifications Income Limits Asset Limits $$$ Amount Forms
Elderly 17D Age 70 or older Own & occupy property 5 years None $62,789 $273 Apply
Widows 17D Surviving Spouse None None $62,789 $273 Apply
Other 17D Minor Parents are deceased None $62,789 $273 Apply
Hardship 18 Age, Infirmity, Income Must meet all three (3) Poverty   Varies Apply
Temporary Hardship 18A Income, tax deferred 3% interest per year MA resident 10 yrs. Inability to pay   Varies Apply
Veterans 22A Service related loss of or loss of use of one foot or one hand or one eye or received honor etc. Spouses (where veteran’s spouse owns the domicile) or surviving spouses of veterans entitled to exemption under Clause 22A None None $750.00 Apply
Veterans 22 10% Service Disability or Purple Heart Mass resident 6 months prior to service or 5 years Mass residency None None $400 Apply
Veterans 22B Loss of two limbs or both eyes Mass resident 6 months prior to service or 5 years Mass residency None None $1250 Apply
Veterans 22C Disability requires specially adapted housing Mass resident 6 months prior to service or 5 years Mass residency None None $1500 Apply
Veterans 22D Death of veteran due to combat or combat injury/disease, or MIA Surviving spouse MA resident for 5 years. Letter of Decision from VA is required None None 100% Apply
Veterans 22E   100% disability, file VA certificate annually Mass resident 6 months prior to service or 5 year Mass residency None None $1000*   Apply
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Paraplegic & 100% blindness due to service connected injury Mass resident 6 months prior to service or Mass residency for 5 years VA certificate None None 100% Apply
Blind 37A Legally Blind Yearly blind certificate None None $500 Apply
Tax Deferral 41A Age 65 or Older, tax deferred 2.5% interest per year Own & Occupy Property for 5 years $86,000 None Defers Up to 100% Apply
Elderly 41C Age 65 or older Own / Occupy 5 yrs. in MA & MA resident 10 yrs. (S)$21,970 (M)$32,954 (S)$43,938 (M)$60,415 $1000 Apply
Senior Work-off 5K Over 60 Somerville resident Contact Council on Aging None Up to $1,500    
Residential Exemption 5C Own & occupy Somerville home as your principal domicile on previous January 1 None-no age or income restrictions. Documentation of residency required. None None To Be Determined (amount changes each year) Apply
Community Preservation Act (CPA) Exemption Chapter 44B See income limits See income limits Depends on age and household size. See full listing here. None If qualified, exempts all of CPA surcharge. Apply

The qualifying date for the Clause Exemptions Is July 1, (each year). Questions can be addressed to Assessing at 617-625-6600 ext. 3100.

The application deadline is three months from the date the Third Quarter Bill was mailed.

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