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Michael: Time for Pinal County to offer seniors a property tax work-off program


I recently came across an article in another publication describing how the elderly can work off a portion of their property taxes in various states across the country. While Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Washington are identified as offering work-off programs to their seniors, Pinal County and the state of Arizona, after briefly searching their websites, do not.

The programs in these states allow homeowners 60 and up to volunteer for specific tasks to reduce their tax burden. The work-off benefits are usually in addition to homestead exemptions and other adjustments.

Examples of tax savings include working 100 hours — or two and a half weeks in a year — for a tax savings of $1,500 in a small town in Massachusetts. Add-on benefits include getting the elderly out of their homes, actively contributing to their communities while simultaneously saving the taxing authorities from hiring staff to perform work that the elderly can provide on a volunteer basis in return for a tax savings on their property taxes.

The elderly tasks can range from data entry to landscaping, depending on the specific needs of the communities. For instance, in San Antonio, Texas, officials approved a pilot program of the S.A.V.E.S. program, which enables up to 300 senior homeowners to each offset up to $400 on their tax liabilities.

Sounds like a win-win for seniors, their communities and taxing authorities. So, I encourage everyone reading this to contact your state and county representatives to implement a property tax work-off program without delay.

For information on the various available programs, go to aarp.org/money/credit-loans-debt/info-2023/property-tax-work-off-programs.html. Another resource is ptaconsumers.aarpfoundation.org.

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