City Council to discuss changes to program that offers tax breaks to elderly and disabled residents

Posted at 6:08 PM, Oct 06, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-06 19:13:01-04

Virginia Beach, Va. - A program in the City of Virginia Beach that offers elderly and disabled residents tax breaks on real estate taxes has increased dramatically over the last 10 years, taking a whopping $12 million from the city's budget.

The budget department has asked the city to make changes to the program in order to save money but the Virginia Beach City Council didn't want to make any final decisions until a task force is created.

The city will discuss creating this task force at the City Council's meeting on Tuesday, October 7th to see what changes to the program, if any, will be made.

But NewsChannel 3 spoke to one participant of the tax program who is concerned about what the task force may recommend. 77-year old Helen Clark has lived in her Virginia Beach home for the last 25 years and has 100% of her property taxes exempt through the program. She tells NewsChannel 3, if this task force decides to make her pay taxes again, she may be forced to move.

"We couldn't afford to pay the taxes," Clark said. "We don't make enough a month to pay taxes, not with the rest of our living expenses going up, not with our pay not going up, they can't do that."

Virginia Beach officials want to be clear NO changes have been made yet. The task force will study the program, study how other cities run their programs, and see where money can be saved. The task force will then bring it's recommendation back to the city council.