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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: May 13, 2014 10:13 AM
From: Representative Mark Painter
To: All House members
Subject: Occupancy Rights Fee and Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program

In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that amends the act of June 27, 2006 (Special Session 1, P.L. 1873, No. 1), also known as the Taxpayer Relief Act, to allow senior citizens entering a retirement community that requires an Occupancy Rights Fee or Entrance Fee to qualify as a homeowner for the Senior Citizens Property Tax and Rent Rebate Assistance program.

Prior to entering a housing unit, some senior citizen retirement communities require an Occupancy Rights Fee or Entrance Fee. This refundable fee purchases the right to occupy a chosen housing unit, and is not considered an interest in real property. Therefore, under the Senior Citizens Property Tax and Rent Rebate Assistance (PTRR) program, these senior citizens qualify as renters and not homeowners. However, the large upfront cost of an Occupancy Rights Fee represents a significant investment for many senior citizens, one that often requires them to sell their homes to afford the fees. In addition, these communities charge substantial monthly service and maintenance fees.

Under my legislation, senior citizens entering retirement communities that require a $50,000 or greater Occupancy Rights Fee will qualify as a homeowner, not as a renter, for the PTRR program. This change will better align these senior citizens within the PTRR program, as they possess an asset similar to homeownership.

Please join me in sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as HB2314