STATE REP RACE: Candidates Debate How Best To Help Wilmington & Tewksbury Seniors

WILMINGTON, MA — At last month’s 19th Middlesex State Representative debate, candidates were asked what they would do to help seniors maintain their health, comfort, happiness and financial well-being in old age.

“The demographics of our district are changing,” said Dave Robertson (D-Tewksbury). “The Department of Revenue has conducted a study to look at allowing longtime residents to do a property tax freeze…. I think that’s a wonderful idea… Another thing I’m very familiar with is Mass Health Over 65, one of our largest assistance when it comes to healthcare…. Lastly, I want to fight tooth and nail in the bond bill, to develop more local housing for folks who want to downsize after their family members move out, but they want to stay here in Wilmington and Tewksbury among their friends and neighbors.”

“That is my generation. I am 65,” said Patricia Meuse (I-Tewksbury). “I would increase the senior circuit breaker and would increase the income level. These people who have lived there their whole lives, bought their house in the 50’s, their houses are assessed at the price of houses today, and they’re forced to pay $8,000-$10,000 in taxes each year and can’t afford it. [The senior tax write-off program] should not be considered ‘double dipping’ when it comes to the senior circuit breaker. That needs to stop…. And we need help for people who have parents living with them at the end of their lives.”

“I’ve visited the Senior Centers in town and many of the 55+ homes. I’ve spoken to a lot of the seniors in the district. Their concern is their voice is no longer behind heard,” said Pina Prinzivalli (R-Tewksbury). “As your next State Representative, I promise that seniors will have a voice on Beacon Hill. I will have office hours for them to hear their concerns. We need to keep Massachusetts’s health costs more affordable so their costs don’t go up. We need to lower our property taxes by having more funds come back to towns through local aid so the property taxes don’t keep increasing, especially when you’re on a fixed income.”

Watch the debate, courtesy of Wilmington Community Television, below. Fast-foward to 25:13 for the discussion on senior issues.

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