SECTION 1. The town of Truro may establish a program to allow persons with disabilities over the age of 18 or a member of their household to volunteer to provide services to the town. In exchange for such volunteer services, the town shall reduce the real property tax obligations of such person with disability on the tax bills of the person’s legal residence or whomever the disabled individual dedicates their work to be credited to and any reduction so provided shall be in addition to any exemption or abatement to which any such person or person in the household is otherwise entitled and no such person shall receive a rate of, or be credited with, more than the current minimum wage of the commonwealth per hour for services provided pursuant to such reduction nor shall the reduction of the real property tax bill exceed $1,500 in a given tax year. For the purposes of this program, a “person with disability” shall be defined as “a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment and proof of disability documented by one (1) of the following: a) statements or letters on a physician's/medical professional's letterhead stationary; b) statements, records or letters from a Federal Government agency that issues or provides disability benefits; c) statements, records or letters from a State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency counselor or; d) certification from a private Vocational Rehabilitation or other Counselor that issues or provides disability benefits. It shall be the responsibility of the town to maintain a record for each program-participating taxpaying property member including, but not limited to, the number of hours of service and the total amount by which the real property tax has been reduced and to provide a copy of such record to the assessor in order that the actual tax bill reflect the reduced rate. Proof of disability documents shall be verified by the assessor and shall not be open to public inspection. A copy of such record shall also be provided to the taxpayer prior to the issuance of the actual tax bill. The town shall have the power to create local rules and procedures for implementing this section in any way consistent with the intent of this section.
In no instance shall the amount by which a person's property tax liability is reduced in exchange for the provision of services be considered income, wages, or employment for purposes of taxation as provided in chapter 62, for the purposes of withholding taxes as provided in chapter 62B, for the purposes of workers' compensation as provided in chapter 152 or any other applicable provisions of the General Laws, but such person while providing such services shall be considered a public employee for the purposes of chapter 258, but such services shall be deemed employment for the purposes of unemployment insurance as provided in chapter 151A.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.
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