In early July, the Board of Selectmen discussed the idea of introducing a new town ordinance that would give tax relief to family members of anyone killed in action while on active duty with the armed forces. As the next step in considering whether to adopt the this Gold Star Parent and Spouse Tax Relief ordinance, the BOS has scheduled a public hearing on Monday, Aug. 12, at 8 p.m. in Meeting Room B at the Wilton Town Hall to hear public comment.

The ordinance would authorize the Town to apply a property tax exemption for any parent or surviving spouse of a person killed in action during active military duty. Under the ordinance, the maximum amount the Town could exempt from property tax is 10% of the assessed value of the parent’s or spouse’s property. The exemption would be applied to the assessed value of the property.

It would also permit the town to set the income limitation amount at up to $25,000 above the maximum income amount set in C.G.S. § 12-81l. The state statute specifies an income limit of approximately $36,000 for families to be eligible. The town would be permitted to add an additional $25,000 (the greatest amount allowed by state statute), to increase the qualifying income limit to $61,000.

Language summarizing the proposed ordinance was supplied in a public notice from town officials:

“Effective for assessment years commencing on or after October 1, 2019, upon application to the Assessor, any parent whose child was killed in action, or the surviving spouse of a person who was killed in action, while performing active military duty with the armed forces, as defined in Subsection (a) of Section 27-103 of the Connecticut General Statutes, which parent or surviving spouse is a resident of the Town of Wilton, shall be entitled to an exemption from property tax in the amount of ten percent (10%) of the assessed value of any such eligible parent’s or surviving spouse’s property, provided that such parent’s or surviving spouse’s qualifying income does not exceed the maximum income amount as provided under Connecticut General Statutes § 12-81l plus $25,000. The exemption shall be applied to the assessed value of any such eligible parent’s or surviving spouse’s property.

“If both parents of any such child killed in action while performing active military duty with the armed forces are domiciled together, only one such parent shall be entitled to an exemption from property tax provided for under this section.”

A copy of this notice and full text of the proposed Gold Star Parent and Spouse Tax Relief ordinance is also on file in the office of the Wilton Town Clerk.

Editor’s note:  an earlier version of the article misstated the amount that could be exempted. The BOS changed the amount at a subsequent meeting from $20,000 to 10% of the property’s assessed value, and the earlier version didn’t reflect the change.