A kiosk on Main Street in Patchogue provides information on...

A kiosk on Main Street in Patchogue provides information on events in town. Credit: Erin Geismar

The Patchogue Village board of trustees has eliminated the annual filing of forms for seniors who have received property tax exemptions for five consecutive years.

The board on Monday night voted 5-0 to do away with submitting the paperwork by allowing elderly residents to sign an affidavit ensuring they own the home for which the tax exemption is sought.

Each year, seniors must file large amounts of paperwork detailing their salary and other financial requirements for the exemption; but as the years go by, village officials said, it becomes a hardship.

“All they need to do is give us proof that they are either living [in] or still own the home,” village Mayor Paul Pontieri said after the meeting. “This is just a way to lessen the burden on them.”

The unanimous decision was praised by other trustees.

“I think we should do all we can to help our senior citizens. They have enough on their mind, especially now with the economy. And a lot of people have fixed incomes. Whatever we can do to help them, I’m in favor of,” trustee Jack Krieger said.

“I know from personal experience that it seems like it’s a big ordeal” for residents, trustee Lori Devlin said. “It’s an obvious way to make things easier.”

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