Low-income refund program deadline nears
Low-income homeowners who meet certain qualifications can receive a refund on their Davis Park Maintenance Tax and Open Space Protection Tax for 2008-2009 by submitting an application to the city by June 30.
The tax appears on property tax bills. This program is an exemption, not a refund.
Applicants must be owner-occupants of property in the city and must meet the low-income threshold.
Maximum income limits for both taxes are calculated according to 50 percent of the median income for the given household size. The total gross income for a household of one cannot exceed $25,400. For a household of two it cannot exceed $29,050. The maximum for a family of four is $36,300.
Applications are available at the Davis Senior Citizens Center at 646 A St., City Hall at 23 Russell Blvd. and the Police Department at 2600 Fifth St. For more information call 757-5651.
Senior protection bill moves forward
The California Senate Banking, Finance and Insurance Committee voted to approve legislation that would impose a “duty of honesty, good faith and fair dealing” on those involved in the recommendation and sale of reverse mortgages.
“Reverse mortgages can have potentially devastating financial consequences,” said State Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis) in a written statement. “Yet they are being marketed with impunity to thousands of seniors in California for whom they may or may not be suitable. Seniors, like everyone else, are looking for ways to make do in this weak economy. They need cash to cover their health care and living expenses. The difference is, in most cases, seniors‘ money is in their home. So when a money lender suggests a reverse mortgage, many seniors purchase these loans out of desperation without even considering whether it’s the best option.“
A reverse mortgage allows a homeowner to borrow against their mortgage while they are still living in the home, but if payments can’t be kept up the homeowner can end up losing the majority of their home’s equity.
The bill would also require banks to provide a checklist of important issues that a potential borrower must discuss with a counselor from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development prior to approval of the loan application, according to a press release from Wolk’s office.