By Jim Donovan: The Philadelphia Department of Revenue is encouraging low income senior citizens to apply now for the Low Income Senior Citizen Real Estate Freeze program. Under the program, the City will “freeze” the applicant’s real estate tax for the calendar year in which the taxes are due. Once approved, if the homeowner’s property assessment or the tax rate changes, their taxes will not increase. If the tax liability decreases (either due to a rate decrease or a lower assessment), the tax due will be lowered to the new amount.
To qualify for the program, applicants (or the applicant’s spouse who lives in the same household) must be 65 years or older; or 50 years old and the widow or widower of someone who was at least 65 years old at their time of death. In addition, the total annual household income must be $23,500 or less for a single person; $31,500 or less for a married couple.
Each applicant should provide proof of household income, age, the location of the property and the tax bill or receipt for the real estate taxes owed. Only one taxpayer per household will be entitled to the tax forgiveness. Once approved, homeowners do not have to apply again.
Applications can be obtained by visiting the Revenue Department website at www.phila.gov/revenue or by calling 215-686-6442.The Low-Income Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Freeze is one of several tax assistance programs available to Philadelphia residents. For more information visit the website at www.phila.gov/revenue or call 215-686-6442.