Letter: Urging support for HB 641, senior property tax freeze program (June 5, 2017)

To: Members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives

From: John M. Callahan, Assistant Executive Director

Date: June 5, 2017

Re: House Bill 641
On behalf of 4,500 locally elected school board members across Pennsylvania, we request your support of House Bill 641, sponsored by Representative Seth Grove. This legislation would amend Chapter 85 (Assessments of Persons and Property) of Title 53 to establish an optional municipal senior property tax freeze program. Specifically, HB 641 will allow all political subdivisions, including school districts, the ability to grant annual tax freezes to senior citizens who meet a few qualifications: 62 years of age or older; earn a household income of less than $60,000 annually; and have established residency within the Commonwealth for more than five years.

The Pennsylvania School Boards Association supports local control and flexibility. House Bill 641 will allow local government to make the decision to participate in this program. Additional amendments supported by the sponsor and PSBA work to clarify the household income qualifications and would allow for caps on the program. Representative Seth Grove has presented a unique approach that recognizes the needs of diverse communities in Pennsylvania.

I appreciate your time and attention to these matters. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at (717) 506-2450 x3337.