Driscoll legislation would make more seniors eligible for Property Tax Freeze

HARRISBURG, June 25 – State Rep. Michael Driscoll, D-Phila., announced today that he has introduced legislation to modify the eligibility guidelines for the Philadelphia Property Tax Freeze Program.

“The Philadelphia Property Tax Freeze Program has undeniably been a godsend to senior citizens living in our commonwealth’s largest and most expensive city. However, it hasn’t been responsive to changing economic conditions,” Driscoll said. “Today, many seniors face living on fixed incomes that haven’t risen as health care and living costs have.”

Under current law, the eligibility for the program is tied to the income limits established for the state's PACE and PACENET prescription-drug programs, which have not been updated since 2006. H.B. 529 would set income eligibility to 225 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.

“While working closely with the majority leader, City Councilman Bobby Henon, we felt this legislation would be an attractive avenue to help the seniors in our districts. Councilman Henon was extremely helpful,” Driscoll said.

Driscoll said that using the federal guidelines as a basis for property tax relief eligibility would ensure the requirements reflect current economic conditions and help direct relief to those who need it most.

The bill has been referred to the House Finance Committee.