City Council Unanimously Grants Mayor’s Request to Expand Property Tax Workoff Program for Melrose Seniors

Expanded Program Will Allow Any Melrose Property Owner over Age 60 to Earn Property Tax Discount Up to $2,000 by Volunteering at City Hall
property tax work-off program

On Monday, May 20, the Melrose City Council unanimously approved Mayor Jen Grigoraitis’ recommendation to raise the maximum annual tax exemption of the City’s Property Tax Work-off Program to $2,000, the highest amount allowed under state law. The previous ceiling was $1,000, a figure adopted by the City Council in 2003.

Participants in the Property Tax Work-off Program are assigned to work in City departments in exchange for municipal property tax reductions equivalent to their wages earned. The program creates opportunities for City departments to recruit additional administrative and clerical support at a low cost to the City while also providing meaningful tax abatement for senior residents, many of whom rely on fixed incomes. There are currently 37 participants in the program working in various roles at City Hall, the Council on Aging, and other City departments.

“At a time when every household in our community is feeling the impact of rising costs, the Property Tax Work-off Program is due for expansion, and I thank the City Council for its timely action on my recommendation to raise the annual cap to $2,000,” said Mayor Jen Grigoraitis. “City Hall will continue to explore and publicize tax exemption options for qualifying seniors, veterans, and disabled residents.”

“As a small city with a limited housing supply, it’s important to address affordability challenges for residents on fixed incomes, like seniors who want to age in place,” said City Council President Leila Migliorelli. “The Property Tax Work-Off Program is a great option for people who want to earn a tax discount and support the local community.”

The increase approved last week will enable any Melrose property owner over age 60 to participate in the program and receive a property tax discount of up to $2,000 beginning January 1, 2025. The $1,000 property tax reduction program is still available for the remainder of the 2024 calendar year.

Applications for the City’s Property Tax Work-Off Program are managed by the Council on Aging. Eligible applicants must be Melrose residents age 60+ and must own and occupy the property for which abatement is being sought. Questions about this program should be directed to the Melrose Council on Aging at 781-665-4304.