FSA‘s focus is in three major areas:
FSA has advocated to exempt Social Security income from State tax through a variety of actions, including: a letter campaign to all State legislators; a public position statement released to Statewide/local newspapers; public testimony given in Hartford; and a cost/benefit analysis presented to State Finance Committee leaders. As a result, subsequent Legislative action was taken to broaden the exemption. We continue to support this and recommend full elimination of the tax for all seniors.
FSA has also advocated for the elimination of the CT estate tax and phase in the tax exemption of pension and annuity retirement income, releasing a public statement and testifying in Hartford. As a result, subsequent Legislative action was taken to increase estate tax exemption to Federal level and phase in the exemption of pension and annuity income (subject to maximum income limits). FSA continues to work to phase in, starting in 2019, toward a full exemption from state income tax on pension and annuity income.
FSA has also worked for improvements in the Town's Senior/Disabled Tax Relief (SDTR) Program. We researched tax relief programs in Fairfield and other towns, and compiled and analyzed published data on senior income and demographic trends, as well as acted as a sounding board for the Committees. We have also recommended changes in program features.
FSA has advocated for better senior-friendly housing options for seniors at all income and asset levels. We have also conducted both senior housing seminars and a highly-attended forum with developers, architects and planners to expedite “affordable” and “attainable” housing options.
FSA has captured demographic profiles of our current and future senior community and made efforts to understand their housing needs. We worked with our State legislators to modify 8-30g.
In late 2020 FSA proposed new regulations for accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and has worked with Town staff and boards toward their approval in Feb. 2021. These ADUs represent a viable options for some seniors, millennials and others who need smaller yet affordable accommodations (which may or may not be subsidized).
More senior-friendly housing units are needed at all income levels. FSA is working on multiple fronts to promote awareness of the need for and increased action toward additional “Affordable Housing” units and available stock that works for those seniors who wish to downsize and stay in Fairfield. We invite interested residents to let us know and work with us.
FSA has stressed the importance of restoring full funding of State Benefits for economically challenged seniors in opposition to efforts to balance the budget on the backs of needy residents. We wrote to our officials and asked other seniors to support this effort.
FSA has also studied programs and facilities in other towns to advocate for best practices in Fairfield. As a result, Medicare Savings Plan funding was restored. Our representatives also introduced legislation to establish an Elder Abuse Registry to protect vulnerable senior citizens.
We remain on watch to protect our most vulnerable seniors.