State Reps. Wendi Thomas (R-178) and Frank Farry (R-142) will be introducing a bill to freeze property taxes for eligible seniors. The two legislators made the announcement Thursday at Thomas’ Senior Expo.
For Thomas, the real potential impact of this bill sank in one day when she was knocking doors. An elderly woman answered at one home and became very emotional.
“She shared with me that her husband had recently passed, and she shared her biggest fear in her life,” Thomas said. “Every day, she wakes up and she tries to clean out her house because she is terrified that she is going to lose the house. She doesn’t have a mortgage. It’s simply the increasing property taxes with her husband being gone and relying primarily on social security that she was struggling with.”
There are several requirements for eligibility if the bill becomes law. A senior must have residence within Pennsylvania, paid property taxes for more than five years, and the homeowners must have a combined income of less than $65,000 per year.
Seniors with incomes greater than this amount could also qualify. Their property tax liability must be 10% or more of their total income.
“Far too often we hear from seniors in our districts who are on a fixed income and have trouble staying in their homes due to the large burden of property taxes,” Farry said. “While ultimately we would like to see statewide elimination of property taxes, we can take the first step by granting immediate relief to our most vulnerable residents.”
The bill will make rounds through the legislature as co-sponsors sign on. This will give the legislation momentum before being introduced in the state House next week.
Thomas spoke with Pat Wandling regarding several issues on Speak Your Piece Thursday from the Senior Expo. Video of their conversation is available here.