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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: June 5, 2018 02:43 PM
From: Representative Michael J. Driscoll
To: All House members
Subject: Expanding Property Tax Relief for Philadelphia Seniors
I am planning to introduce this legislation NEXT WEEK on Monday, June 11, 2018. The Philadelphia property tax freeze program has undeniably been a godsend to senior citizens living in our Commonwealth’s largest and most expensive city. However, under current law, eligibility is tied to the income limits established for PACE and PACENET, which have not been amended since 2006.

This means the tax freeze program isn’t responsive to changing economic conditions. Since 2006, our nation has been through a recession and recovery. Retired seniors face living on fixed incomes that likely haven’t risen significantly, as well as rising health care costs. The Philadelphia tax freeze program essentially reimburses seniors for any increases in local property taxes or increases in the assessed value of the senior’s home, providing needed relief for low-income individuals.

That is why I’m introducing legislation to instead set income eligibility to 225 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. The poverty guidelines are updated annually by the federal government, so it makes sense to use the guidelines as a basis for property tax relief eligibility. This will ensure the eligibility requirements actually reflect current economic conditions, directing relief to those who need it most.

I hope you will join me in providing more Philadelphia seniors with one additional tool to protect their financial stability and well-being. Your consideration and co-sponsorship are appreciated.

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Introduced as HB529