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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 16, 2016 12:47 PM
From: Senator Anthony H. Williams
To: All Senate members
Subject: Property Tax Deferral for Senior Citizens
In the near future, I will reintroduce last session’s Senate Bill 31 to amend Title 53 of the Pennsylvania Code to expand the Commonwealth’s property tax deferral program whereby indigent senior citizens can opt to defer their property taxes, with interest, until they pass away, sell their homes or otherwise dispose of them.

As a result of my “There Oughta Be a Law!” competition in 2012, more than 80 individuals from across the state engaged in civic participation by submitting ideas for new legislation that would make Pennsylvania a better place. The honorable mention went to Bill Batt from Albany, NY who proposed a program to establish a property tax deferral to provide relief to older Pennsylvania homeowners — without requiring an increase in taxes for other Pennsylvanians.

24 states and the District of Columbia recommend property tax deferral to senior citizen homeowners as a vehicle of tax relief, in addition to several states that allow the program as an option at a local level. Under this proposal, deferred property taxes become a lien against the value of the taxpayer’s home. Senior citizens have the option of paying their taxes with interest upon selling their homes, moving, or passing away. In PA, the household income limit for eligibility in our current property tax deferral program is only $35,000, and the program operates as a local option. This bill would broaden the existing program so that individuals over the age of 65 may qualify for deferrals in the full amount of property taxes due, and increase the income eligibility cap to $50,000.

Previous co-sponsors of this legislation include Senators TEPLITZ, FONTANA, COSTA, FARNESE, BROWNE and HUGHES.

If you have any questions, please contact my office at 717-787-5970. Thank you for your consideration.

Introduced as SB43