The town has been considering allowing vehicles that accommodate disabled people — such as vans with wheel chair accessible doors — from paying the tax.
First Selectman Laura Francis said the issue was actually first discussed back in the 1990s however it did not go anywhere at that time. The proposed ordinance was revised in 2013 after a resident came forward about it, she said.
Durham is holding a public Town Meeting on Jan. 13 at 8 p.m. to vote on a series of spending items in addition to whether the town should adopt the ordinance.
Any resident who is a registered voter will be able to vote at the meeting, which will be held at third floor meeting room at Town Hall.
Here's a full text of the ordinance:
AN ORDINANCE RELATIVE TO A PERSONAL PROPERTY EXEMPTION FOR MOTOR VEHICLES MODIFIED TO ACCOMMODATE A PERSON WITH DISABILITIES
A. Pursuant to Section 12-81c of the Connecticut General Statutes, an exemption from personal property taxation is hereby created for motor vehicles that are modified to accommodate an owner with disabilities, or spouse, child or ward with disabilities, which vehicle is equipped for purposes of adapting its use to the disability of such person.
B. A “motor vehicle modified to accommodate a person with disabilities” shall be defined as any production vehicle which has been altered or reconfigured or has undergone mechanical or structural changes which permit an individual with a disability to safely drive or ride as a passenger.
- Any person who desires to claim the exemption provided in this Ordinance shall file with the Assessor of the Town of Durham, not later than November 1 following the assessment date with respect to which such exemption is claimed or, for vehicles purchased on or after October 2 and on or before July 31 of the assessments year for which such exemption is requested, not later than (30) days after such purchase. This Article shall be applicable with respect to the assessment year which commenced October 1, 2013.
- Any person who desires to claim the exemption provided in this Ordinance shall submit to the Assessor of the Town of Durham a written application claiming such exemption on a form prepared by the Assessor and a letter from the applicant’s physician which attests to the applicant’s need for a motor vehicle modified to the applicant’s medical needs. Failure to file such an application in said manner and form shall constitute a waiver of the right to such exemption.
- For the assessment year which commenced October 1, 2013 and that assessment year only, the deadline to claim the exemption shall be December 31.
D. This Ordinance is effective___________________________.