Though the Wilson County Commission passed the 2013-14 annual budgets at its meeting more than a week ago, it also approved another item that would help older Wilson County residents.
With Commissioner Jim Bradshaw absent, the commission voted 23-1 to pass a program to provide assistance to low-income elderly residents of Wilson County. This would be for the current fiscal year and provide funds to partially match the State Property Tax Relief Grant to eligible property owners.
Commissioner Nathan Clariday was the lone dissenter.
Jim Major with the trustee’s office said the program is a state-funded program and has been going on for 30 years.
“Four years ago the county voted to give $100 in addition to the $185 that the state gives these low-income elderly residents,” Major said.
Major said Monday night the county voted to increase that amount by $50, and it now gives $150 total.
Major also said the amount from the state for those that qualify is $185 in the city limits and $161 for those who live outside the city limits because those inside the city limits pay city taxes.
With the amount from the county and state together, those who qualify receive $335 which can go toward property taxes.
“The qualifications to be eligible is that you must be 65 years old or older and have an income of under $27,800,” Major said.
Major said those residents who have a total income of under $27,800 for the past year are welcome to come in to look at getting approved.
“My main objective is to get people in here,” Major said. “If people don’t know if they’re qualified they can come see me and we can look at their situation to see if they qualify.”
Major said when he took office only 391 people were a part of this program but now the county helps more than 1,300.
“My main objective has always been to help the county, but I also really want to help the elderly,” Major said. “This is a big deal what the county did for these people. Every penny counts.”
Major said he wanted to help anyone he could but they’ve got to reach out to him if they feel they qualify.
“I can’t help them if they don’t come in,” Major said.
Major also said there is a program for partially and disabled veterans.
“These people have worked hard their whole lives and paid taxes their whole lives, now all I’m trying to do is help them,” Major said.
Anyone who is interested in either program should go by the trustee’s office in the Wilson County Courthouse or call 615-444-0894.