Senior citizens can freeze real estate tax increases

Seni­or cit­izens who meet in­come re­quire­ments can fend off prop­erty tax in­creases by ap­ply­ing for “the seni­or freeze” by Oct. 14.

Single sen­or cit­izens with in­comes of $23,500 or less, or mar­ried couples with in­comes of $31,500 or less, can keep real es­tate taxes from go­ing up due to changes in prop­erty as­sess­ments or tax rates. For in­form­a­tion, call 215-686-6442 or e-mail rev­en­

Only about 11,000 eli­gible house­holds have ap­plied for this form of tax re­lief, City Coun­cil­man Bri­an O’Neill (R-10th dist.) said dur­ing a March 1 phone in­ter­view. He said he sus­pects many more people are eli­gible.

“A lot of seni­ors are eli­gible and prob­ably don’t real­ize it,” he said.

About 200,000 people already have ap­plied for the Homestead Ex­emp­tion, which, if ap­proved again this year by City Coun­cil, will sub­tract $30,000 from an own­er-oc­cu­pied prop­erty’s as­sessed value be­fore prop­erty taxes are com­puted.

O’Neill in­tro­duced a bill last week that would make a seni­or freeze ap­plic­a­tion an auto­mat­ic ap­plic­a­tion for the homestead ex­emp­tion.

Some of the same in­form­a­tion needed in a homestead ap­plic­a­tion is re­quired in the seni­or freeze form, he said. Four­teen coun­cil mem­bers co-sponsored O’Neill’s bill, he said.

Homestead ap­plic­a­tions must be filed by Ju­ly 31. For in­form­a­tion, call 215-686-9200 or vis­it ••

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