From the Town of Great Barrington

Are you a town resident 60 or older who would like to earn a break on your property tax bill? Do you have professional skills you can offer to the town—computer or tech abilities, financial or office skills? Gardening or maintenance skills, or a love of books?

If so, you may be interested in the town’s Senior Tax Work-off Program. The program already employs nearly 30 people, but 45 new positions have been identified throughout various town departments, according to Karen W. Smith, who is coordinating the expanded program.

In exchange for your work for the town (calculated at $12 per hour) you would earn a property tax exemption of up to $1,500 on your FY 2021 real estate taxes; your work would take place prior to Aug. 28, 2020. There are no income or asset limits for those participating; applications are accepted throughout this calendar period. There is a 125-hour cap on total time worked in a year; many participants might work fewer hours.

“The great thing about Senior Tax Work-Off is that there are no income or asset limits – anyone can participate,” said Smith, who is herself by participating by coordinating the Senior Tax Work-Off Program. “It can be rewarding and fun to work with the town, to learn about town government and get a tax break in return. It’s win-win--seniors have skills, and the town needs those skills.”

The town is now accepting applications from resident taxpayers over 60 years old who may be eligible to participate in this program. Those who applied in 2018 or 2019 need not reapply, you will be contacted by phone for updates.

The application and accompanying documents can be accessed by going here.  All must be filled out. Documents are also available at the office of the Town Manager in Town Hall during regular business hours.

Examples of skills and work needed:

-Computer/technology: archive, digitize files, data entry
-Inventory recording
-Financial assistance; billing, payroll
-General clerical office assistance; answering phones, filing, taking minutes
-Planning Department assistance
-Transfer Station/Swap Shack assistance
-Photography (Assessors office)
-Senior Center trip coordinators, monitors, meal site manager
-Library shelving, delivering books
-Scan documents
-Maintenance
-Gardening