Freeman introduces property tax circuit breaker legislation

HARRISBURG, Nov. 20 – Homeowners would be protected from property tax overload under legislation (H.B. 2074) introduced by state Rep. Robert Freeman, D-Northampton.   

“Many families and especially older Pennsylvanians on a fixed income are struggling to stay in their homes as property taxes rise and the bills get more difficult to pay,” Freeman said.

Under H.B. 2074, the state constitution would be amended to allow property tax circuit breakers to be used in Pennsylvania. It would allow local taxing authorities to exempt a taxpayer from paying the portion of their property tax that exceeds a certain set percentage of their household income.

“My proposal would amend our state constitution to allow for property tax circuit breakers to be used in Pennsylvania. A property tax circuit breaker is quite simple: it would protect taxpayers from a property tax overload just like an electric circuit breaker. Specifically, it would allow local taxing authorities to exempt a taxpayer from paying the portion of their property tax that exceeds a certain set percentage of their household income,” Freeman said.

“This proposal will offer Pennsylvania homeowners needed property tax relief and build fairness into the property tax system by ensuring that property taxes never exceed a set percentage of household income,” he said.

In Pennsylvania, a proposed constitutional amendment must pass the General Assembly in two consecutive legislative sessions before being placed on the ballot to be considered by the state’s voters. If the Pennsylvania electorate approves the proposal, Freeman said enabling legislation would need to be passed by the General Assembly and signed by the governor to institute property tax circuit breakers and to set the property tax vs. income percentage that would trigger the circuit breaker.

House Bill 2074 is awaiting referral to a House committee.