House passes Merski bill to help retirees with vehicle registration fees

HARRISBURG, Sept. 27 – The Pennsylvania House today passed state Rep. Bob Merski’s bill that would raise the annual income threshold for retirees to qualify for a reduced vehicle registration fee.

Merski, D-Erie, said his legislation (H.B. 250) – which passed by a vote of 202-0 – would raise the qualifying income cap from $19,200 to $29,906, with future annual adjustments tied to the Consumer Price Index. This would allow more retirees to renew their annual vehicle registration for only $10.

“The income threshold that allows retirees to qualify for a reduced vehicle registration fee hasn’t been raised in 25 years,” Merski said. “Social Security payments received an 8.7% boost this year; however, a ramification of this increase is that it pushes retirees above income thresholds for certain government programs or benefits.

“My bill would address this underlying issue by raising the income threshold to allow retirees to continue reaping the benefits that they have earned through their decades of being in the workforce.

“We have an obligation to take care of seniors who have paid taxes their entire lives. Pennsylvania has recognized the need to assist our seniors on fixed incomes for quite some time by offering benefits to seniors below a certain income threshold. 

“This is a commonsense piece of legislation, and I thank my colleagues in the House for their unwavering advocacy for retirees living on fixed incomes. I will continue championing this bill as it continues its journey through the legislative process.”

The bill now heads to the state Senate for consideration.