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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: December 1, 2014 01:52 PM
From: Senator Rob Teplitz
To: All Senate members
Subject: Legislation - Property Tax Relief
In the near future, I plan on introducing legislation that would make property tax relief more accountable to the taxpayers.

After various items are subtracted for Pennsylvania’s elderly and school districts, each year over $595 million is made available for property tax relief. Unfortunately, according to a 2010 Auditor General Report, “Property tax relief is not working as it was promoted to work. The state created a complicated, fragmented, and cumbersome process that confuses homeowners and leaves local entities on their own to work out the details. The state has also communicated poorly, left behind an unknown number of potential beneficiaries, and sometimes exaggerated tax relief results. Overall, Pennsylvania should designate a single oversight entity to take charge of tax relief, coordinate the fragmented process, and be more accountable to taxpayers.”

Currently, there is not 1 state agency or local entity to oversee and administer property tax relief arising from legalized gaming revenues. Under the proposed legislation, the Department of Revenue, which currently collects all gaming revenues, shall oversee and coordinate the homestead and farmstead exclusion process among Commonwealth agencies, assessors and school districts as necessary to achieve maximum efficiency and homestead and farmstead owner participation, serve as a clearinghouse for information about the homestead and farmstead exclusion process and periodically review the administration of homestead and farmstead exclusions by assessors, tax collectors and school districts to ensure compliance with the act.

Every 5 years, the Department of Revenue would be required to prepare and submit a report to the General Assembly on the department’s duties relating to the administration of homestead and farmstead exclusions.

Please join me in streamlining the property tax relief process and making property tax relief more accountable to the taxpayers. Thank you for your consideration.

Introduced as SB1010