Village considers stricter rules for senior tax rebates

By on March 13, 2009

by Martha Quetsch
Any Elburn senior citizen may request a 75 percent refund of last year’s municipal utility taxes. But because some people may be misusing the program, village officials might tighten its rules.

“The idea was to help seniors through difficult times,” Village Administrator David Morrison said. “But now we have some concerns about potential abuse of the program,” Morrison said.

Seniors who want municipal utility tax refunds must be at least 62 years old. In addition, they must provide the village with copies of their utility bills-gas, electric and telephone-from the previous year.

However, one senior citizen submitted a refund application that included bills for six different cell phones. So now, village staff members are studying ways to make sure residents do not abuse the program.

One option they will consider is allowing municipal tax refunds on bills for just one telephone per applicant. Trustee Jeff Humm suggested the limit on Monday.

The only taxes eligible for reimbursement are those identified specifically on utility bills as municipal taxes. Municipal taxes typically are up to 6 percent of a phone bill and 5 percent of a gas bill, and electric bill municipal taxes are based on kilowatt use, Morrison said.

Approximately 34 village seniors applied for the village’s municipal utility tax reimbursement during the first two months of the year, trustee Bill Grabarek said.

Tax break request deadline is March 31
Senior citizens who want a
75-percent reimbursement
of their 2008 municipal utility taxes
must submit a request
with copies of last year’s telephone,
gas and electric bills
by Tuesday, March 31,
at Elburn Village Hall,
301 E. North St.,
during business hours,
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Monday through Friday.