“Gold Star Family Tax Exemption” Passed by the Lawrence City Council

Takes Advantage of the Massachusetts Brace Act,

Providing Tax Relief for Gold Star Families of Lawrence


Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Statement Regarding by Former City Councilor Dave Abdoo Regarding the Lawrence City Council’s Favorable Passage and Enactment of Agenda No. 276/21 “Gold Star Family Tax Exemption” exempting Gold Star families within our Lawrence community from local property taxes:

I am extremely thankful to my co-sponsors of Agenda No. 276/21 “Gold Star Family Tax Exemption”, Council President Marc Laplante and District E Councilor Stephany Infante, and all of the members of the City of Lawrence City Council for their passage of the “Gold Star Family Tax Exemption” that exempts Gold Star families from their assessed property tax each year.

US Army Sergeant Pierre A. Raymond was lost to us on September 20, 2005. SGT. Raymond was serving with the United States 28th Infantry Division as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom when he died from injuries sustained when his unit was attacked in Ramadi, Iraq. A hero from Lawrence, Pierre’s mother Santina and her family live in my former Council District and were constituents that I represented on the Lawrence City Council for eight years.

Despite my departure from the City Council several weeks ago, I was heartened to see this proper and moral action this evening. Thank you to my former colleagues on the Council for their unanimous consent, you have my – and your constituents—deepest gratitude for your honorable action tonight.

Agenda No. 276/21 “Gold Star Family Tax Exemption” unanimously passed this evening allowing the City to adopt Massachusetts General Law c. 59, § 5, Clause Twenty-second H (inserted by Chapter 218 of the Acts of 2018 known as an Act Relative to Veterans’ Benefits, Rights, Appreciation, Validation, and Enforcement (“BRAVE Act”)). The intended purpose of clause 22H is to grant a full property tax exemption to surviving parents or guardians of military personnel who have died while on active duty or are missing in action/presumed dead.

It is important to note that this uncollected property will be recovered by the City of Lawrence from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts therefore not costing the City any desperately needed revenue.

Gold Star families are unlike many of us in our community, or any community. They have suffered the unthinkable loss of a loved one in combat. An immediate family member who gave of themselves the ultimate sacrifice for our Nation. Their sacrifice provides the blanket of freedom and liberty that each of us enjoys every day.

This small yet tangible recognition of the sacrifice of US Army SGT. Pierre Raymond and others in our City. A recognition that will take the form of exempting his family home from an annual collection of property taxes. Hopefully, tonight’s favorable action by the Lawrence City Council and anticipated approval by Mayor Brian DePena provides some relief for the Raymond family’s unthinkable loss, and other family’s that may benefit from tonight’s action by the City of Lawrence.

God Bless SGT. Pierre A. Raymond, his mother Santina, his family and all those heroines and heroes who have given their lives for our Nation.