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Tax Work-Off Program: A Unique Approach to Balance the Social and Financial Needs of Senior Homeowners and Local Governments of Massachusetts

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Download PDF versionPrakash, Archana. 2009. "Tax Work-Off Program: A Unique Approach to Balance the Social and Financial Needs of Senior Homeowners and Local Governments of Massachusetts." PSC Research Report No. 09-666. 1 2009.

Unlike other property-tax relief programs, the property-tax work-off program is unique in that it provides financial and social benefits to both the senior homeowners and local governments. In spite of these mutual benefits, many communities do not participate in this program.

In this study, we investigated the factors that influence local governments in their decision to offer the tax work-off program, and used these results to propose policy options to increase the adoption of the tax work-off program.

We used both quantitative and qualitative analysis techniques to get a deeper understanding of the predictors of the participation compared to either approach alone. For our quantitative analysis, we built logistic regression models to examine the significant predictors of participation. For our qualitative analysis, we conducted 15 case studies to explore the common themes that affect the local governments’ decision to participate.

The results of both the quantitative and qualitative analyses agree that the financial well being of a community is an important determinant in a community’s decision to participate in the tax work-off program. In addition, the qualitative analysis also suggests the importance of personal initiative taken by a local official, awareness of the benefits, and demand from senior homeowners.

Country of focus: United States of America.

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