Active members of the National Guard and Reserves who live in Quincy will not have to pay full property taxes during their tours after Gov. Deval Patrick signs a locally sponsored bill into law Wednesday.

Active members of the National Guard and Reserves who live in Quincy will not have to pay full property taxes during their tours after Gov. Deval Patrick signs a locally sponsored bill into law Wednesday.


The bill, the result of a home rule petition approved by the city council in January 2009, allows Quincy’s board of assessors to grant real and personal property tax abatements of up to 100 percent to eligible citizen soldiers. The tax break is retroactive for Guard members who served as far back as 2002.


“In many instances, people that get deployed see a substantial loss of income, especially someone who’s self-employed,” said city council President Kevin Coughlin, who introduced the measure in Quincy. “This is certainly not going to make up for the loss of income, but I think it’s a gesture on the city’s part to say, ‘We support you. We thank you for your service to our country.’”


Patrick will sign the bill in a ceremony Wednesday in the city council chambers at Quincy City Hall.


Members of the Massachusetts National Guard and reservists on active duty in foreign countries are eligible for the abatements for the fiscal year or years in which they performed the service. Quincy’s board of assessors will establish further criteria for the abatements.


Coughlin said applicants will have to demonstrate that they have a primary residence in Quincy, produce orders of deployment for the years they are seeking exemptions and earn less in the military than in their civilian jobs. The tax breaks are retroactive to 2002 because that is the year Operation Enduring Freedom was launched, in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.


The same benefit is in effect in Braintree, where town council member Paul “Dan” Clifford proposed it after state lawmakers in 2006 passed a bill to give communities the option of letting veterans defer property-tax payments until 180 days after the end of their service.


Although it is difficult to predict how many Quincy residents will be deployed at a given time, the city is not expected to forego more than $20,000 in tax revenue in a given year, Coughlin said.


“From the fiscal side of things, is it going to be a budget buster? No,” he said.


The city council could end the benefit at any time. The legislation calls for the council to vote annually to extend the program.


Jack Encarnacao may be reached at jencarnacao@ledger.com.