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Property Tax Relief For D.C. Seniors Gets Preliminary Approval

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The D.C. Council has voted to waive property taxes for some elderly residents.

In an effort to protect long-time residents who may be forced to sell their homes because of rising property taxes, the Council has given preliminary approval to a bill introduced by Council member Anita Bonds (D-At Large) that would exempt certain senior citizens from property taxes.

To qualify, residents must be at least 75 years old, have lived in D.C. for 15 consecutive years, and earn less than $60,000 a year.

The bill, if approved during the second and final vote, would cost the city nearly $22 million in lost property taxes over the next four years  that s according to the city s new chief financial officer.

Council member Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5), who voted for the bill, says he hears constantly from senior citizens about how unaffordable D.C. has become.

"And yet we read about all the progress. I agree there is progress occurring, but its incumbent upon legislators, elected officials that seniors also accrue a benefit from that progress," McDuffie says.

But several questions were raised during the hearing over the bill  including why seniors who don't own, but rent, aren't subject to the same tax relief  and the measure could change before the final vote.

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