These are the three main areas we're focused on right now
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 retirement 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 income (subject to maximum income limits).
FSA has worked for improvements in the Town senior/disabled tax program. We have studied tax relief programs in Fairfield and other towns. FSA has compiled published data on senior income/demographic trends and acted as a sounding board for the Committee.
OUTCOME: We have made recommendations for change in program features and supported the Committee in its mission.
FSA has advocated for better senior-friendly housing options for seniors at all income and asset levels. We testified in Hartford for more “affordable” senior housing opportunities. We held a senior housing seminar at the Bigelow Center. Then we held a highly-attended forum with developers, architects and planners to expedite “affordable” and “attainable” housing options in Fairfield. We developed a senior housing/living survey, met with realtors to study senior client objectives and needs, and have a plan to capture non-published demographic data on our senior population.
OUTCOME: Our Housing Committee continues to pursue ways to (1) improve the environment for senior-friendly housing, (2) enhance the stock of suitable units and (3) capture (non-currently published) data to better understand the composition and needs of our senior population.
FSA pursued relief from the CT "8-30g" law (that allows zoning to be skirted except for only serious health and safety issues). We spoke at Legislative committees, lobbied legislators and coordinated a community letter writing campaign.
OUTCOME: With assistance from our State legislators 8-30g was modified. But more progress needs to be made to fairly report affordable housing stock and make the needed units available in Fairfield.
Senior Programs and Services
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.
OUTCOME: Medicare Savings Plan funding was restored through June, 2019. We are working to ensure continued program funding beyond that date.
FSA has met with our State reps to advocate against elder abuse.
OUTCOME: Our representatives introduced legislation to establish an Elder Abuse Registry to protect vulnerable senior citizens. The legislation passed and became law. Thanks to Laura, Brenda and Cristin!