GLENVILLE — The first two phone calls Vicki Hillis said she got when the Glenville Senior Citizens Center shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic were, “How do I get my groceries?” and “How do I do my taxes?”
Hillis, the director of human services for the town, said Wednesday she’s getting those same tax calls again as the filing season begins.
Glenville Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle announced Wednesday during a press conference at the senior center that Mohawk Honda and Mohawk Chevrolet will help 50 seniors who qualify for the School Tax Relief exemption file their taxes with H&R Block by underwriting up to $5,000 in costs.
“Each and every year the town offers the Tax Assistance Program through the senior center and working with AARP,” Koetzle said. “That program was cut short last year and has been canceled this year due to COVID. That program would handle about 400 returns for our seniors annually.”
He said because of the pandemic the town was only able to help file about 200 returns. Koetzle also said of the 400 who participate in the program 300 qualify for the STAR exemption.
“We’re just very happy to reach out when Chris called and to help the seniors in the area,” said Jeff Harden, the owner of Mohawk Honda and Mohawk Chevrolet. “Obviously COVID has been really hard for everyone between the nursing homes and between the seniors themselves and we couldn’t be more happy than to be able to help sponsor them with their tax returns and get that burden off of their chests.”
Koetzle said a letter is being sent to seniors who qualify to participate in the program and they should reach out immediately since space is limited.
Gary Kingsland, the district manager for H&R Block, said the company has all of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s safety measures in place to prevent the spread of the virus.
Hillis said center volunteers will pick up seniors and take them to H&R Block.
“I want to make a plea to our folks in the community, both tax preparers, but also businesses that want to donate to this program, please reach out to me, let me know if we can get more folks covered under this program,” Koetzle said.
Want to help seniors with taxes?
Contact Glenville Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle at [email protected] or call Vicki Hillis at the Glenville Senior Citizens Center at 518-374-0734.
Want to participate in the program?
Call Vicki Hillis at the Glenville Senior Citizens Center at 518-374-0734 or call H&R Block at 518-399-1698.