BOSTON – The Massachusetts Legislature passed an act on Thursday that authorizes the town of Shrewsbury to grant a real estate tax abatement for Ava Roy, daughter of Worcester Firefighter Christopher Roy. Christopher Roy was a firefighter killed in the line of duty on December 9, 2018.
House Bill 3906, An 3906, An Act authorizing the town of Shrewsbury to grant abatement of real estate taxes for the daughter of fallen firefighter Christopher Roy, authorizes the town of Shrewsbury to grant real estate tax abatement for the domicile of Ava Roy as long as it is owned and occupied by her guardian, trustee, conservator, adoptive parent, or other fiduciary.
Ava Roy lives under the guardianship of her grandparents in Shrewsbury.
Tax assessors are allowed to exempt real estate taxes for the surviving minor children of police or firefighters who are killed in the line of duty if the minor child owns and occupies the property, and a trust set up for Ava holds percentage ownership of the property. However, Ava is a minor child, and as such is unable to own the property nor serve as trustee. As a result, the Shrewsbury Board of Assessors was unable to grant tax relief until the passage of this bill.
“I am pleased that Shrewsbury will now be able to exempt the real estate taxes for the home in which Ava Roy lives with her grandparents,” said State Representative Hannah Kane of Shrewsbury, who sponsored the act in the House. “This measure satisfies the intent of the original state law allowing for a property tax exemption to the children of fallen firefighters.
“With the passage of this legislation, Ava Roy will receive the state support that she deserves after the tragic death of her father, Christopher Roy,” said State Senator Michael O. Moore of Millbury, who sponsored the act in the senate.
House Bill 3906 is a home rule petition filed at the request of Shrewsbury after it was unanimously passed at Shrewsbury’s May 2023 Annual Town Meeting. It was passed by the House and Senate on August 17, 2023. Governor Maura Healey is expected to sign the bill in the coming days.