BRISTOL - An ordinance was adopted by the city to help surviving spouses of Bristol police officers and firefighters by providing them tax abatements.
The new ordinance was approved by the ordinance committee and the City Council, and then adopted to the Bristol Code of Ordinances.
“The city wishes to honor those police officers and firefighters who die while performing their duties as police officers or firefighters. Pursuant of General Statutes Section 12-81x, the city is authorized to provide for an abatement of real property taxes with respect to real property owned and occupied by the surviving spouse of a police officer or firefighter who died while performing their duties,” reads the ordinance.
The ordinance clarifies that this applies to any who lose “designated members” of the City of Bristol Fire Department or Police Department.
“An abatement of 50 percent of municipal real property assessment with respect to real property owned by the surviving spouse of a police officer who has died as a result of the performance of police duties or a firefighter who has died as a result of the performance of fire duties,” the ordinance later reads.
The tax abatement will continue as long as the surviving spouse remains in the residence, or if the spouse moves to another location in Bristol. However, the ordinance states it will cease if the surviving spouse gets remarried.
City Councilor Dave Preleski, who is on the ordinance committee, explained the new ordinance came about after the state passed the statute and the city thought the ordinance would be beneficial in the unfortunate event it ever needed to be used.
“It came to the council’s attention because the state adopted the statute, and the council thought it was a good idea,” Preleski said. “It’s a chance to give the families a break. We are hoping we never have to use it, but if it is used, it will provide some relief for families.”
Lorenzo Burgio can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 860-973-5088.