FSA ‘s focus is in three major areas:
In 2017 FSA advocated to exempt Social Security income from State tax initially through a letter campaign to (all) State legislators. A public position statement was released to Statewide/local newspapers. Testimony was given in Hartford. A cost/benefit analysis was presented to State Finance Committee leaders.
OUTCOME: 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 advocated for elimination of the CT estate and equity in taxation of pension and annuityretirement income. FSA released a public statement and testified in Hartford.
OUTCOME: Subsequent Legislature action was taken to (1) increase estate tax exemption to Federal level and (2) phase in exemption of pension and annuity income (subject to maximum income limits).
FSA has worked for improvements in the Town senior/disabled tax relief (SDTR) program. We have studied tax relief programs in Fairfield and other towns. FSA has compiled and analyzed published data on senior income/demographic trends and acted as a sounding board for the Committees.
OUTCOME: We have made recommendations for change in program features and supported the Committees in theirits mission.
ACTION TO DATE: FSA has advocated for better senior-friendly housing options for seniors - at all income and asset levels. We have 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 the onerous 8-30g law. In late 2020 FSA proposed new regulations for accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and has worked with Town staff and boards toward the recent approval in February 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).
GOING FORWARD: More senior-friendly housing units are needed at all income levels. We’re working on multiple fronts to promote: (1) Awareness of the need for and increased action toward additional “Affordable Housing” units and (2) available stock that works for other seniors that wish to downsize and stay in Fairfield. We need residents interested in retiring/staying in Fairfield to speak up and work with us.
GOING FORWARD: We’re working on multiple fronts to: promote: (1) Awareness of the need for additional “Affordable Housing” and the existing available stock; (2) Expanded options for accessory dwelling units (ADUs) that offer a viable options for some seniors; and (3) Review of our Town planning/zoning process to enhance the stock of senior-friendly housing units at all income levels.
Senior Programs and Services
ACTIONS TO DATE: FSA 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 met with our State reps to advocate against elder abuse. Most recently, FSA has also studied programs and facilities in other towns to advocate for best practices in Fairfield.
OUTCOMES: Medicare Savings Plan funding was restored. Our representatives introduced legislation to establish an Elder Abuse Registry to protect vulnerable senior citizens. We remain on watch to protect our most vulnerable seniors.