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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: June 27, 2014 04:35 PM
From: Representative Steve Samuelson
To: All House members
Subject: Increase in Property Tax and Rent Rebate exemption
In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation amending the Taxpayer Relief Act of 2006 to increase the exemption for total death benefits from $5,000 to $10,000 when calculating income eligibility for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program.

This $5,000 exemption was established more than 40 years ago when the cost of an average funeral was approximately $983. Since then, that average cost has increased more than six-fold to approximately $6,550, not including the cost of a burial site or monument. Many senior citizens purchase a modest life insurance policy to cover the cost of funeral services and other final expenses. As you can see by the figures above, it would take a policy in excess of $5,000 to cover those costs.

However, with the existing exemption in the PTRR program, any life insurance payment over $5,000 would count towards a person’s income and could put a surviving spouse over the PTRR income limits in the year that life insurance payment was received.

This bill would increase the PTRR death benefit exemption from $5,000 to $10,000.

Act 27 of 2003 increased the life insurance exemption for the PACE program from $5,000 to $10,000. According to the Department of Aging, between 3,000 and 5,000 PACE enrollees benefited from that change.

Introduced as HB2396