The Philadelphia Business Journal is reporting that there are plans underway in the next couple of weeks for the introduction of the Property Tax Emergency Relief Act. Pennsylvania State Rep Steve Santarsiero intends to introduce this legislation that would provide a one-year break for property tax to anyone who has been unemployed for three months or long.
Santarsiero emphasized that the legislation would not forgive the taxes that are due, but would instead provide a one-year grace period. Under the Property Tax Emergency Relief Act, anyone unemployed for a minimum of 3 months could request a temporary exemption from paying property taxes for one year. The taxes would then be repaid, without penalty or interest, in quarterly installments over the following four years. Should the Act pass, the legislation would be in effect through the end of 2011.
Santarsiero was quoted as saying, “I don’t believe that anyone should lose their home because they cannot afford their tax obligation as a result of unemployment in this difficult economy, which we all hope will begin to pick up in the coming months.”
While I support the effort of the state to help give the unemployed a break with their property taxes, the Property Tax Emergency Relief Act certainly has the potential to play havoc with the approved 2010 township budget and the potential to increase the $9.3 million deficit in the 2010-11 school district budget.