Axis Philly: Property Taxes are Frozen Only for Seniors

Thurman Scott browsed the Saint Albans Street blog.

In order to protect low-income senior citizens from increases in their property value and the tax rate, the city provides an application to freeze property tax at its current level. But not all citizens who are on a fixed low-income qualify for the property tax freeze program.

“People on disability just don’t meet certain criteria,” said Thurman Scott, a resident of Graduate Hospital for more than 30 years. “Actually, we just don’t meet the age of [65].”

Thurman Scott browsed the St. Albans’ Yahoo group.

Scott, 57, receives disability benefits through the Social Security Administration, but he’s not eligible for the property tax freeze because he and his wife are both under 65. His proposed property value for 2014 is $219,300, which is more than a 700 percent increase from its 2013 value of $30,300. Even with the proposed $30,000 Homestead Exemption, his property taxes will increase by 160 percent from $947 to $2,461 at the proposed 1.3 percent tax rate. Since he is on a fixed low-income, Scott is concerned.

“Next years taxes I could put on my credit card. After that, though, I don’t know.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue offers a property tax/rent rebate program that provides relief to both senior and disabled citizens. The maximum standard rebate is $650, which would still leave Scott with $1,811 in proposed 2014 property taxes.

Frank Breslin, the deputy revenue commissioner for Philadelphia’s Department of Revenue said, “I’m not sure why disabled citizens were excluded.”

1 Comment

  1. Dept of Revenue person on phone today…March 7…said the the matter of how the Freeze applies to “frozen” low-income seniors related to the AVI is “not yet resolved”.
    Stay on top of this.
    How to plan what to do if the Freeze is revoked…or HOW the freeze can even legally be revoked…are questions.
    Contact yr City Council representatives…and maybe attend some of the AVI-related “public meetings”.

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