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Pennsylvania State Senate
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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: January 1, 2019 01:29 PM
From: Senator Jay Costa
To: All Senate members
Subject: Expanded Senior Citizen Property Tax and Rent Rebate Relief in Allegheny County
 
Please join me in co-sponsoring legislation, which was introduced as Senate Bill 376 in the 2017-2018 Legislative Session. It would provide for expanded eligibility for property tax and rent rebates under the Tax Payer Relief Act.

Currently, Allegheny County reduces property taxes for longtime senior citizen owner occupants pursuant to the Tax Payer Relief Act. To be eligible for this program a person must meet all three of the following requirements:
  • A senior must have owned and occupied a primary residence in Allegheny County continuously for the past 10 years. A property owner who has moved within the past 10 years and has continued to own and occupy the new property as a primary residence is eligible.
  • The person must be age 60 or older, or if married either spouse must be age 60; be a widow or widower age 50 to 60 years; or permanently disabled and age 18 to 60 years.
  • The person must have a gross household income of $30,000 or less.
Unfortunately, there have been several circumstances where individuals, who would otherwise qualify for this program, have been deemed ineligible because of a period of interrupted property ownership in the county. For instance, a person who was a longtime owner occupant of property who dissolved their personal owner occupant status to move in with an elderly relative to care for them. Thereafter, they became an owner occupant of property in the county and would otherwise be eligible, but for the interrupted period of ownership.

My legislation would modify the property ownership requirement to make an individual eligible for this county program, if the person was the owner occupier of a primary residence in the county for a period of at least twenty (20) years, moved for a period of time and then resumed status as an owner occupier of a primary residence in the county for not less than two (2) years.

Please join me in sponsoring this legislation. It was previously co-sponsored by Senators Fontana, Brewster, Tartaglione, Hughes and Browne.