EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 3, 2012

Special fund to help elderly, disabled

By Paul Tennant

---- — NORTH ANDOVER – Elderly and disabled residents with low incomes may get some help paying their auto excise taxes next year.

If the aid materializes, the source will not be a billionaire philanthropist or a welfare program, but their fellow residents making voluntary contributions to a special fund.

On June 12, Town Meeting voted unanimously to set up an Elderly and Disabled Tax Aid Fund. A state law authorizes towns and cities to take this step.

Town Manager Andrew Maylor told the selectmen Monday night that starting with the February auto excise bills, residents will be allowed to check a box and make a contribution to the fund.

It will be somewhat similar to the voluntary contribution federal income taxpayers are permitted to make to the presidential campaign fund, he said.

The Elderly and Disabled Tax Aid Fund will be administered by a Taxation Aid Committee headed by Chief Assessor David Minicucci and Town Treasurer Jennifer Yarid. The selectmen will name another three members of the committee.

The panel will decide how the fund will be distributed, Maylor said.

The success of the fund will be based entirely on the generosity of the town’s taxpayers, so there’s no way to gauge just how much help it will generate, the town manager noted.

“We will see what happens,” he said.