|Posted:||September 27, 2018 03:53 PM|
|From:||Representative Dan L. Miller|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Modernizing our Personal Income Tax Poverty Exemption|
|In an effort to provide some relief to our lowest-income Pennsylvanians, an individual making $6,500 or less per year (or a married couple making a combined $13,000 per year) can receive 100 percent tax forgiveness. Unfortunately, such thresholds were set almost twenty years and have not increased since. To compound this injustice, our own legislative salaries are now tied to inflationary index, thereby increasing our take home pay while those in poverty receive declining assistance.
These stagnant income amounts are leaving out a number of individuals and familes who need all the help they can get. In previous terms some legislators have sought to provide a flat raise to these amounts- and their efforts have not borne fruit. While clearly I would support an increase to both poverty thresholds, my legislation would at least tie those numbers to the same indexing method that currently provides our annual cost-of-living adjustments.
As income inequality has grown over the last couple of decades, I believe we must do more to help those with less in our state- or at the very least, make sure that the same “benefit” we prescribed to them twenty years ago doesn’t continue to erode in its purchasing power.
If legislators deserve yearly adjustments to our income based on inflation rates, so do our struggling families. I hope you will join me in giving Pennsylvanians a hand up by bringing the personal income tax poverty exemption into the 21st century.
Introduced as HB2708