DeLuca bill could generate upwards of $135 million for senior citizen property tax freeze

HARRISBURG, Sept. 18 – State Rep. Tony DeLuca, D-Allegheny, on Wednesday unveiled his legislative plan to provide qualified senior citizens with a property tax freeze.

DeLuca rolled out H.B. 1565 at a Capitol news conference. If adopted into law, the bill would lift the sales tax exemption for advertisements and direct the collected funding to property tax freezes for senior citizens, much like the way the state earmarks lottery revenue to fund Property Tax/Rent Rebates to qualified individuals, DeLuca said.

“It is estimated my proposal will benefit between 126,000 and 284,000 senior households,” DeLuca said. “These are state residents who have already paid off their mortgages. Yet, they’re forced to pay ever-increasing property taxes on a fixed income, which ultimately results in many seniors losing their homes.”

“Meanwhile, we’re letting big business profits go exactly to that – big business. Why not capitalize on the major profits reaped by large corporations regarding untaxed ads and put that funding to good use? This is a decades-long problem that continues to plague legislators, and the time to act is now. House Bill 1565 is the solution to this ongoing problem.”

Under his proposal, any homeowner over 65 with an income less than $40,000 per year would be able to apply for a tax freeze. However, a recipient of the property tax freeze would not be permitted to participate in the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program.

Participation in the program or tax freeze is optional and up to the homeowner to decide, DeLuca noted.

DeLuca said it’s estimated his bill could generate close to $135 million for senior citizen property tax relief. It’s anticipated this bill will be considered in the House chamber in the near future.

Any and all questions regarding H.B. 1565 should be directed to DeLuca’s Harrisburg office at 717-783-1011.