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Elderly D.C. residents hit with skyrocketing property tax assessments can now get some relief under a law passed by the D.C. Council last month. At the behest of AARP Legal Counsel for the Elderly, the council passed a measure allowing elderly residents who make less than $50,000 per year to defer paying part of their property taxes until they sell or transfer their homes. Deniece Field, an attorney for Legal Counsel for the Elderly, came up with the idea after seeing tax deferral legislation in other states. She says the law will easily help 10 to 20 of her current clients and an outreach program set to begin next year will get the word out to many more. Attorneys Jean Baxley, Matthew Zinn, and John Giles from Steptoe & Johnson helped draft the legislation. The law is scheduled to take effect in March 2006. � Bethany Broida

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