Property tax circuit breaker proposed by Freeman

HARRISBURG, Sept. 9 – With the new school year starting and school property tax bills coming due, taxpayers are looking for relief from rising property taxes and state Rep. Robert Freeman is offering a proposal to address that concern.

“It seems that nearly every year property taxes go up and the bills get more difficult to pay for many families and especially older Pennsylvanians on a fixed income who are struggling to stay in their homes,” Freeman said.

Under legislation introduced by Freeman (H.B. 1851), the state constitution would be amended to allow 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 exempt homeowners from having to pay that portion of their property tax bill that exceeds a certain set percentage of their household income,” Freeman said.

“This proposal would offer Pennsylvania homeowners needed property tax relief and build fairness into the property tax system,” 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 percentage threshold amount of property tax to household income that would trigger the circuit breaker.

House Bill 1851 is awaiting referral to a House committee.