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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 5, 2018 12:16 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 ago 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 families 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.

In the near future, I plan to re-introduce legislation that would at least tie those numbers to the same indexing method that currently provides our annual cost-of-ling 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.

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Introduced as HB123