TOWN COUNCIL
JAMESTOWN, RHODE ISLAND
September 14, 1998
(as amended on September 28, 1998)
WORK SESSION
Elderly Tax Exemption

A work session of the Jamestown Town Council was called to order at the
Jamestown Philomenian Library at 26 North Road at 7:35 PM by Council
President Craig A. Amerigian. The following members were present:   
David E. Dolce, Vice President  
William H. Murphy
Ellicott Wright
Absent:  Fred F. Pease

Also present were:
Maryanne Crawford, CPA,Town Administrator/Interim Finance Director
Susan P. Brayman, Tax Assessor
Steve J. Goslee, Public Works Director
Arthur Christman, Fire Chief
Christopher Powell, Conservation Commission 
Arlene D. Kalooski, Town Clerk

Councilor Amerigian introduced the subject of Elderly Tax Exemption.
      Councilor Amerigian noted that although the Council cannot proceed
with changes without the Legislature of the State of Rhode Island; he
explained the intent of the Council was to flush out the legislation that
could be submitted to the next Legislature session.  

Pauline Lathan, 6 Cole Street: Former Councilman, Mr. Vieira came up with
the figure of $10,000.00 many years ago.  Today this amount is outdated.  
I went to North Kingstown and Newport to see what those communities were
doing and I submitted those to this Council.
      At that time you thought I was in reason asking that the maximum be
raised so that more people could apply.
      There are only 11 elderly that qualify at this time.
      We are on fixed income and I am finding it very difficult to meet my
tax bill.  I submit that you try to raise that maximum.

Sue McGrath, 55 North Main Road:  All other communities are much higher
than Jamestown.
     Ours is so much outdated and below the poverty level.
     Council Amerigian What we could do is come up with a plan to index it
in some way so that as times change and inflation takes place that the
ordinance could be indexed so the number could raised.  As it is written
now, we cannot change that number.
      We need to write legislation and submit this to get it put through.
      There should be no trouble getting this through the Legislature.
      Mrs. McGrath: Can this be put on a Town ballot so that this can be
voted on?   It seems that we are at a stalemate.
      Councilor Amerigian: The Council is agreed that the amount should be
raised.  Councilor Murphy: What we have are two proposals.  We need to
look at both of these proposals and decide what we need to do.
      Both proposals are indexed to the Federal Poverty Level.
      The proposals took the basic Federal Poverty Guidelines using a
percentage of that number, so that in ten years from now that number will
be adjusted.  I believe that we are only 5% off on our two proposals.  
The only other question is the cap.
      I am not a proponent of the cap myself.
      Councilor Dolce: (to Susan Brayman, Tax Assessor) Sue, I have a
question regarding the Tax Deferral Program.
      How many people are taking advantage of this program?  Tax Assessor:
None.
      Councilor Dolce: Is it possible for a person to participate in both
programs, simultaneously?  Tax Assessor: I will take a look at it and give
you an answer.

Mr. Silvia, North Road:   In Mississippi, when I was living there, it is
according to the value of your house.
      If the house is valued at $65.000 you must pay tax.  If below
$65,000 you do not have to pay taxes.
      That will give you something else to think about.
      Councilor Dolce: The way we were looking at the cap was to say if
your house was valued at $150,000 and the cap was at $130,000, the
exemption would apply only to the $130,000 .

Dorothy Brown, North Road:   There is no one that can live on $10,000.
      Raising the cap will help more people.
      Councilor Amerigian: There are two numbers that you can call the
cap.  One is the cap on income and the other is the cap on the amount of
exemption.
      The value of the house in excess of the cap would not be exempt from
taxes.
      Councilor Wright:  I would like to see both of these plans and vote
on it at the next meeting.
      Councilor Dolce: Can we include the deferral plan also?  Councilor
Murphy:  As far as I know no one is using it at this time.
     Councilor Dolce:  I'm looking at it as a complement to the other
exemption.
     If someone qualifies for the exemption and is still having a problem
paying their taxes, perhaps they would also use the deferral program.
     Town Administrator:   I would like to look into seeing if you could
get two exemptions at the same time.
      Tax Assessor:  I don't see anything that says that they cannot
receive both programs at the same time.
      Councilor Amerigian: We would need to adjust thresholds for this
also.
      Sue McGrath: Can you advertise this in the Jamestown Press to let us
know what is happening with this issue.
      Councilor Dolce: I would like to have the information available at 
the Town Hall.
     Town Administrator: We can also do a press release through the
Jamestown Press.
       Councilor Amerigian: This information should be available a week
from Wednesday.
      Councilor Amerigian moved that we put this on the agenda for two
weeks from now (September 28, 1998) and have it available at the Town Hall
on the Wednesday previous (September 23, 1998).
      Councilor Murphy seconded.  So unanimously voted.

There being no further comments the workshop was concluded at 8:15 and the
regular meeting was continued.

Attest:

Arlene D. Kalooski
Town Clerk