Boscola Calls for Allowing Property Tax Write-offs on State Income Tax Returns

HARRISBURG, Dec. 22, 2017 – State Sen. Lisa M. Boscola (D-Northampton/Lehigh) today said she is introducing legislation that would allow homeowners to write off their paid property taxes on their state income tax returns.

Pointing to the federal tax reform law that eliminates the unlimited federal deduction for paid property taxes and state/local income and sales taxes, Boscola said the plight of local taxpayers continues to worsen.

“Pennsylvania voters spoke pretty clearly this election cycle that property taxes for homeowners is a serious issue when they supported the ballot initiative allowing for a 100 percent exemption for property taxes”, Boscola noted.  “It’s bad enough that Pennsylvania’s property tax burden is worsening. I don’t understand why the federal government would take this step and further stress homeowners and those who itemize,” Boscola said.

“My bill would lessen the impact of this new federal tax law, protect homeowners’ pocketbooks, bolster property values and provide people with the ability to write-off some of this overwhelming tax burden.”

In her co-sponsor memo to Senate colleagues, Boscola lamented that the new federal tax law would cap local and state tax deductions at $10,000. She stated that “many property owners could face a new federal tax burden as a consequence of capping this deduction.”

Boscola noted that New Jersey is already considering such a write-off on state tax forms. She said she was particularly concerned for families who anticipate a significant tax refund – in part due to large deductions for state and local taxes.

Boscola said she is working with officials from the state Department of Revenue to get fiscal impact projections on her proposal. She said her goal is to “end up with a bill that will provide the potential relief to homeowners and families, while minimalizing the impact on the state coffers as much as possible.”

Boscola has also co-sponsored legislation that would eliminate property taxes.  As an interim step, she also called for freezing property tax rates for seniors.

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