The Unified Government’s Senior Citizen Utility Tax Rebate program will begin January 3 and run through March 31, 2011. Under the program, senior citizens who meet the guidelines will be able to take advantage of a utility rebate. The program offers senior citizens a rebate on a portion of the amount paid for utilities during 2010.
Persons applying must be 65 years of age during the entire year of 2010, live in the city of Kansas City, Kansas, and their total income not to exceed $25,000. The maximum refund is $150. Applications will be taken at KCK City Hall, 701 N. 7th St., in the Unified Government Clerk’s Office, Monday-Friday, 8am- 4:30pm.
The Area Agency on Aging, located in the Security Bank Bldg., 1300 N. 78th St., Suite 100, will fill out applications by appointment only on Tuesdays and Thursdays by calling 573-8531. Eligible persons should bring all gas, telephone, and BPU bills paid during 2010; proof of income, social security statements, interest statements and social security number. Please call the Unified Government Clerk’s Office at 573-5260 if you have questions.
For consideration: If you are 65 years of age or older, why make this process difficult for the elderly to obtain a minimal utility refund? As well, in all probability, the applying have been through this procedure last year. The applying seniors should be given more respect and assistance. They have paid into the Federal, State, City, Payroll tax systems for over 45+ years. The application as described sounds so easy when they were 20-25 years younger. However, some seniors cannot drive; some seniors do not own a car; if they own an auto, it may be inoperable or there may not even be enough money to purchase gas, bus transportation is difficult and not available in certain areas.
Eligible seniors require documentation, i.e., approximately 50 documents and, factoring in their ability to handle administrative duties, accessibility is a “no-brainer”. Another scenario is an elderly person who did not have all the mandated paperwork; no problem again for the UGWYCOKCK, just another trip for the exasperated and worn Senior. We have so much concern and empathy for the Seniors who have paid their dues; it appears we are putting up road blocks and making it more difficult to receive their generous rebate that they throw up their hands. But is the desired objective or as a society, do we enjoy the bureaucracy of red tape? Possible Solution: With all the high-tech available equipment and the current census taken, to expedite rebates to senior citizens who previously applied, maintain records and mark these eligible Seniors that continue to meet the eligibility criteria plus monthly bill payments and mail and/or direct deposit rebate. New applicants: One representative from the Aging Agency on a Tuesday and Thursday work with the Seniors at a community center or church in the downtown area and the same in the western area of KCK. Announce this Tax Rebate Workshop in the UGWYCOKCK, churches, community centers, libraries, etc, the Kansas City Events foamcage.com, etc., Also, if at all possible, ask that a family and/or friend accompany the applicant to assist with the required documentation, especially those requiring language assistance and translation. Readers suggestions and/or comments: