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Elderly housing exempt from portion of tax

May 03, 2006|by TARA REILLY

A provision in Washington County's Building Excise Tax Ordinance that exempts "elderly housing" from the schools portion of the tax was approved Tuesday by the County Commissioners.

The commissioners voted 4-1 on amendments to the ordinance, including the elderly housing exemption.

Commissioners Vice President William J. Wivell voted against the changes because he opposed the elderly housing exemption, he said.

He said he thought it might become a loophole for developers to get out of paying most of the tax.

The excise tax is charged to new construction.

The exemption excludes developers from paying the schools portion of the excise tax, which is 70 percent of the tax. Before that, elderly housing had been exempt from the entire tax.

Washington County defines elderly housing as housing built for those 55 and older. The tax is exempt under the restriction that children do not live in the houses.

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Residents argued at a public hearing last month against the exemption, saying there would be no way to enforce whether children live in the homes and are contributing to the enrollment of county schools.

County Attorney Richard Douglas said the deeds of the homes will state that only the elderly would be permitted to live in the designated homes.

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