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Richmond City Council Expands Real Estate Tax Relief Program

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Roberto Roldan/WCVE News

The City of Richmond is expanding its program providing tax relief to elderly and disabled homeowners.

The City Council voted unanimously to extend the Tax Relief for the Elderly and Disabled Program to residents with a yearly income between $50,000 and $60,000. The expansion also increases tax exemptions for people already in the program.

Councilmember Parker Agelasto, who represents Central Richmond, said the program is aimed at helping residents who are hardest hit by inflation and gentrification.

“We’ve heard from a lot of our constituents about affordable housing and making sure that our seniors who have been in the communities the longest are able to stay in their communities, even though home prices continue to rise very rapidly and their fixed incomes are completely flat,” he said. “The Council tonight just took a fairly large step.”

This is the first major expansion of the program since it was created in 2013. Under the amended ordinance, seniors and people with disabilities making $30,000 or less can apply for a full exemption from local real estate taxes. Those making $30-$40,000 can get a 75 percent exemption and people earning $40-$50,000 can get a 50 percent exemption.

The change was opposed by the Stoney administration. Officials said they can’t estimate exactly how many more people will sign up for the tax relief program and how much it will ultimately cost. At Thursday’s Finance and Economic Development Committee, one official said it could cost the city $1 million.

But Fourth District Councilmember Kristen Larson said the changes bring Richmond’s program in line with the surrounding communities and with comparable cities in Virginia.

“It’s a good place to invest our money, because we are investing it in our people,” Larson said.

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