Prop. tax program for seniors is little known

    A system is already in place to shield one group of vulnerable Philadelphians from a the impact of a property tax hike.

    Mayor Nutter has proposed increasing Philadelphia’s property tax by 19 percent next year, with a 14.5-percent increase over the 2009 rate in 2011. But a system is already in place to shield one group of vulnerable Philadelphians from the impact of a property tax hike.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090505lfproperty.mp3]

    Many Philadelphia residents age 65 or older can have their property taxes frozen, they just need to apply. If accepted, their bills won’t change until the property is sold, or the owner passes away.

    The city ordinance was signed into law in December 2007, and recent talk of tax hikes has prompted City Council President Anna Verna to try to draw attention to the program.

    Tony Radwanski is Communications Director for City Council.

    Radwanski: The Council President has become learned that many people in this city are not aware this program exists, so she’s very anxious to spread the word.

    To be eligible for the property tax freeze, individuals can not make more than $23,500, and a couple’s combined income can not exceed $31,500.

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