City Council unanimously passed Councilman Kenyatta Johnson and Council President Darrell Clarke’s legislation, Bill No. 190004, to extend the deadline for the Senior Citizen Tax Freeze application to March 15, 2019 to freeze property taxes at 2018 levels. Bill No. 190004 is an ordinance amending Chapter 19-2900 of Title 19 of the Philadelphia Code, entitled “Senior Citizen Low Income Special Tax Provisions”.
In October 2018, the Senior Citizen Tax Freeze eligibility requirements were expanded to allow more low-income seniors to enroll. Single people over 65 making under $27,500 or married couples making under $35,000 are now eligible. Previous eligibility requirements were $23,500 total income for a single
The amount of property tax paid by a senior homeowner each year will not increase under the Senior Citizen Tax Freeze, even if their property assessment or tax rate does.
Senior tax freeze eligibility has changed because of new Commonwealth legislation. On October 23rd, 2018, Governor Tom Wolf signed a new law to increase income limits for Pennsylvania’s prescription assistance program for older adults, or PACENET. Philadelphia’s Senior Tax Freeze income limits are based on PACENET’s standard and were also increased.
“Extending the deadline for this program is important to allow seniors at-risk to enroll and be able to age in place in their homes,” said Councilman Kenyatta Johnson. “It’s an important program for people to take advantage of and we want to make sure they have the opportunity to do so.”
The application for the Senior Citizen Tax Freeze can be downloaded at tinyurl.com/seniortaxfreezeapp, or by calling the Department of Revenue with questions at 215-686-9200. Seniors rejected under previous guidelines are strongly encouraged to reapply.
After the extended March 15th, 2019 deadline, seniors can still apply for the Senior Citizen tax freeze but taxes will be frozen at 2019 levels.