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06/21/2024 11:14 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20230&cosponId=42648
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: May 6, 2024 11:30 AM
From: Representative Ben Waxman and Rep. Steve Samuelson
To: All House members
Subject: Exempting Reparations to Holocaust Victims from Personal Income Tax
 
There are an estimated 245,000 Holocaust survivors in 90 countries worldwide, nearly 40,000 of whom live in the United States. Many of these brave and resilient people receive payments from the German government and other sources as reparation for the hardships they suffered, and others have been awarded restitution in court for stolen property. These payments are not subject to federal income tax and are also excluded from income in the majority of U.S. states. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania does consider these payments as income, therefore making them subject to the personal income tax.

While no amount of restitution can make up for the damage done to members of persecuted populations during the Holocaust, these payments help victims and their families recover financial losses, offer supplemental support to survivors who may be living on limited incomes, and can provide a sense of justice. That is why we will soon be introducing legislation to exempt reparation payments and court judgments for stolen property for victims of the Holocaust from the personal income tax.

Allowing victims of the Holocaust to retain 100 percent of their reparation payments and restitution awards is one small step that we as legislators can take in recognizing the lasting impact of this tragedy on the world and in honoring survivors and their families. Please join us in co-sponsoring this commonsense measure.