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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: August 25, 2022 03:21 PM
From: Senator Jimmy Dillon
To: All Senate members
Subject: Property Tax Circuit Breakers
In the near future, I will be introducing companion legislation to Rep. Robert Freeman’s HB 1851, which would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution to allow for an exemption of a portion of a taxpayers property tax in circumstances when their household income falls below a manageable threshold, specifically in comparison to the amount of property taxes they are required to pay.

This concept is referred to as a property tax “circuit breaker,” which is designed to protect Pennsylvanians from being “overloaded” or overburdened by the amount of property taxes levied by their local taxing authority.  If this amendment passes it will allow the General Assembly to enact legislation detailing qualifications to exempt a taxpayer from paying a portion of their property tax that exceeds a percentage threshold amount of household income.

Residential property taxes are regressive and make up a larger percentage of low- and middle-income families’ earnings. This forces them to pay more of their income in tax than wealthier taxpayers. 

This enabling legislation is one approach to helping our vulnerable property owners.  If enacted, specifics as to the income guidelines and other relief criteria will be determined through additional legislation.  This bill is the first step toward giving the Legislature the authority to make desperately needed reforms.  We cannot let the excuse that “our hands are tied” stop us from helping families being crushed by property taxes. 

Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation. This is the type of action the Legislature must take to provide real tax relief to families overburdened by taxes.

Introduced as SB1342