Application Period Begins for Property Tax Exemptions


GREENFIELD – Property tax exemption applications for legally blind persons, seniors, veterans and residents dealing with financial hardship are now available at the Greenfield Assessors Department. The programs derive from Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 59 Section 5. Qualified residents are encouraged to submit applications by April 1, 2025.

An exemption excuses the taxpayer from paying a portion, or in some cases all of, the tax assessed for the fiscal year. All applications must be completed and submitted through the Greenfield Assessors Department. Applications are granted or denied three calendar months from when they are received.

“The city adopted these exemptions back in 2014. They are readily available to qualifying individuals,” said Greenfield Chief Assessor Randall Austin.

Exemption amounts differ based on qualifications. You will not receive a refund unless you have already paid the entire year’s tax, as reduced by the exemption, at the time the exemption is granted.

Legally Blind Persons

  • One exemption is available: Clause 37A exempts $500.
  • Applicants must submit documentation relating to domicile/ownership and legal blindness, including submitting a current “Certificate of Legal Blindness” from the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind with each year’s annual application. They must also have an ownership interest worth at least $5,000 in their domicile.
  • The first year an exemption is sought, a letter from your physician certifying blindness in accordance with the specifications of the Commission for the Blind is sufficient proof. After the first year, only a certificate from the Commission for the Blind will be accepted.

Seniors

  • Two exemptions are available: Clause 41D exempts $1,000 from property tax bills. Clause 17E features an exemption amount of $175.
  • Applicants must submit a birth certificate, evidence of property ownership/domicile and income tax returns or other asset account statements with their application.
  • Applicants must be 67 or older to apply for Clause 41D and Clause 17E.
  • To receive an exemption, the applicant’s income for the previous calendar year cannot exceed a specified limit:
    • Single – Income cannot exceed $32,922. Assets cannot exceed $40,632.
    • Married – Income cannot exceed $40,632. Assets cannot exceed $54,176.

Veterans

  • Applicants must provide evidence of residency, ownership/domicile and occupancy along with certification of a service-connected disability or death from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs if a spouse is applying. In addition, veterans must submit records from the branch of the United States military service from which they were discharged or in which they served.
  • Veterans must have been domiciled in Massachusetts for at least six consecutive months before entering military service or lived in Massachusetts for at least two consecutive years before the tax year begins.
  • There are seven exemptions for veterans. Here are their eligibilities:
    • Clause 22 ($400 exemption)
      • Veterans with a service-connected disability of 10% or more.
      • Veterans awarded the Purple Heart.
      • Gold Star mothers and/or fathers.
      • Surviving spouse of military personnel who died in military service and are not remarried.
    • Clause 22A ($750 exemption)
      • Veterans who suffered in the line of duty the loss or permanent loss of use of one foot, one hand or one eye, or received the Congressional Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross or Air Force Cross.
    • Clause 22B ($1,250 exemption)
      • Veterans who suffered in the line of duty the loss or permanent loss of use of both feet, hands or eyes (surviving spouses also qualify).
    • Clause 22C ($1,500 exemption)
      • Veterans who suffered total disability in the line of duty and received assistance in acquiring specially adapted housing, which they own and occupy as their domicile (surviving spouses also qualify).
    • Clause 22D (Full exemption)
      • Surviving spouses (who have never remarried) of (1) military personnel (including members of the National Guard on active duty) who went missing in action during active duty and are presumed to have died, or (2) military personnel (including members of the National Guard on active duty) or veterans who died as a proximate result of injuries sustained or illnesses contracted during active-duty service.
    • Clause 22E ($1,000 exemption)
      • Veterans who have suffered total disability in the line of duty and are incapable of working (surviving spouses also qualify).
    • Clause 22F (Full exemption)
      • Veterans (and surviving spouses of veterans if not remarried) who are certified by the Veterans Administration as being paraplegic.

Hardship Exemption

  • Some residents may also qualify for a hardship exemption (Clause 18A). The clause allows taxpayers experiencing financial difficulties to defer part, or in some cases all, of their property taxes.
  • Supporting documentation required for the hardship clause may include, but is not limited to, the following:
    • Federal and state income tax returns.
    • Savings and checking account statements.
    • Social security and pension fund statements.
    • Records of public assistance.
    • Schedules of assets.
    • Outstanding bills.

Residents with questions about the exemptions can contact the Greenfield Assessors Department at City Hall on 14 Court St. or call their office at 413-772-1506.