[Adopted by the Board of Selectmen 2-6-2006]
The Town of Brookfield hereby enacts a tax deferral program for elderly homeowners, pursuant to Section 12-129n of the Connecticut General Statutes, for eligible residents of the Town of Brookfield on the terms and conditions provided herein. This article is enacted for the purpose of assisting elderly homeowners with a portion of the cost of property taxation.
Any person who owns real property in the Town of Brookfield or is liable for the payment of taxes thereon, pursuant to Section 12-48 of the Connecticut General Statutes, and who occupies the property as a principal residence shall be entitled to defer a portion of the real property tax on said residence remaining due after the application of all municipal and state real property tax credits, provided the following conditions are complied with:
Such person is 65 years of age or over at the close of the previous calendar year, or his or her spouse is 65 years of age or over at the close of the previous calendar year and resides with such person, or such person is 60 years of age or over and the surviving spouse of a taxpayer qualified for tax relief under this article at the time of his or her death.
Such person must have a principal residence located in Brookfield and must have paid taxes in Brookfield for five years immediately preceding his or her receipt of tax benefits hereunder.
The property for which the tax deferral is claimed must be the primary legal residence of such person and occupied more than 183 days of each calendar year.
An initial application must be filed with the Assessor no later than the date the first payment of the real estate tax bill is due. Subsequent applications to continue to receive said tax credit must be filed annually with the Assessor between February 1 and May 15 of each year.
No property tax relief authorized hereunder shall be given under this article to any persons who owe delinquent taxes to the Town of Brookfield. The applicant shall submit a certificate from the Tax Collector to the effect that no such delinquent taxes are owed.
The tax credit for real property as provided herein shall apply to only the residence itself, the lot on which the residence is located, but not more than two acres, and the improvements thereon.
Only one tax deferral shall be allowed for each parcel of real property eligible for tax deferral under this section. If title to such property is recorded in the name of an eligible taxpayer or his or her spouse and any other person or persons, the amount of the deferral shall be prorated to allow a tax deferral equivalent to the fractional share in the property of such taxpayer or spouse. If such property is a multiple-family dwelling, such deferral shall be prorated to reflect the fractional portion of such property occupied by the taxpayer.
The total tax deferred shall be equal to 45% of the real property tax which would be assessed on the median assessment value of a principal residence in the Town of Brookfield, after the application of all municipal and state real property tax credits.
No property tax relief authorized hereunder, together with any relief received by any such resident under provisions of Chapter 197 of the Brookfield Code of Ordinances or under Sections 12-129b to 12-129d, inclusive, and 12-170aa of the Connecticut General Statutes, shall exceed, in the aggregate, 75% of the tax which would, except for said provisions, be laid against the taxpayer.
The Town of Brookfield shall establish a lien on each property that is subject to tax deferral hereunder in the amount of the relief granted, together with interest at a rate equal to the S&P Municipal Bond 20 Year High Grade Rate Index or similar index as approved by the Board of Selectmen as of January 1 of each calendar year. Said lien shall have a priority in the settlement of the taxpayer's estate. Each subsequent annual deferral shall accrue simple annual interest at a rate equal to the interest rate as of January 1 of the respective calendar year.
Each tax deferral granted in accordance with the provisions of this article shall terminate upon the death of the taxpayer or upon the transfer, assignment, grant or conveyance of the property subject to tax deferral hereunder. Upon such termination, the taxpayer or the taxpayer's estate shall reimburse the Town for the full amount of the taxes deferred hereunder, together with accrued interest.
The total of all tax deferrals granted under this article shall not exceed for each assessment year an amount equal to 3% of the total real estate property tax assessed in the Town of Brookfield. In the event this limitation applies, tax deferrals given to eligible applicants hereunder shall be prorated in such a manner so that the total amount of property tax relief hereunder shall remain within the limits fixed herein.
Tax Assessor shall determine whether each applying taxpayer is entitled to a tax deferral under this article and shall compute the amount of the tax deferral to which each qualified taxpayer is entitled and cause a certificate of tax deferral to be issued in such form as to permit the Tax Collector to reduce the amount of tax levied against the taxpayer. The tax deferral shall be applied proportionately to the tax payments due during the course of each tax year.
The tax deferral allowed hereunder shall not apply to any water use charge, sewer use charge or special tax assessments that may be levied against real property in the Town of Brookfield.
If a taxpayer has qualified and received tax relief under the provisions of this article and subsequently becomes disqualified for any reason, he or she shall notify the Tax Assessor on or before the next assessment date and his or her exemption shall cease for such assessment year and such disqualification shall continue until he or she becomes eligible again and has filed a new application.
If any person with respect to whom a claim for tax relief in accordance with this article has been approved for any assessment year transfers, assigns, grants or otherwise conveys in such assessment year the interest in real property to which such claim for tax relief is related, regardless of whether such transfer, assignment, grant or conveyance is voluntary or involuntary, the amount of such tax deferral shall be a pro rata portion of the amount otherwise applicable in such assessment year to be determined by a fraction the numerator of which shall be the number of full months from the first day of October in such assessment year to the date of such conveyance and the denominator of which shall be 12. If such conveyance occurs in the month of October, the grantor shall be disqualified for tax relief in such assessment year. The grantee shall be required, within a period not exceeding 10 days immediately following the date of such conveyance, to notify the Assessor thereof, whereupon the Assessor shall determine the amount of tax deferral to which the grantor is entitled for such assessment year with respect to the interest in real property conveyed and notify the Tax Collector of the reduced amount of tax deferral applicable to such interest. Upon receipt of such notice from the Assessor, the Tax Collector shall, if such notice is received after the tax due date in the municipality, within 10 days thereafter, mail or hand a bill to the grantee stating the additional amount of tax due as determined by the Assessor. Such tax shall be due and payable and collectible as other property taxes and subject to the same liens and processes of collection, provided such tax shall be due and payable in an initial or single installment not sooner than 30 days after the date such bill is mailed or handed to the grantee and in equal amounts in any remaining, regular installments as the same are due and payable.