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.
ACTION TO DATE: FSA has advocated for better senior-friendly housing options for seniors - at all income and asset levels. This has included 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; this said, more progress needs to be made to find needed “Affordable Housing” units for Fairfielders.
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
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.
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 our State reps!