Jun. 15, 2018

Committee Approves Peifer Bill Authorizing Senior Citizen Tax Reduction Incentive Act
The House Aging and Older Adult Services Committee approved legislation this week, sponsored by Rep. Mike Peifer (R-Pike/Wayne), to authorize municipalities to establish a program that would allow older residents to volunteer in the municipality in exchange for a real property tax credit. Under House Bill 1925, municipalities would be permitted to develop specific guidelines regarding a program, including the acceptance of volunteers. Guidelines would have to include a requirement that individuals seeking to participate undergo a criminal background check. Additionally, a volunteer program may not replace or supplant existing job positions within the municipality. The rate of a real property tax credit for a senior volunteer would be established by the municipality and could not exceed the total amount of real property taxes owed by the volunteer. A real property tax credit received by a volunteer would not be subject to the state Personal Income Tax.

Property Tax/Rent Rebate Deadline Extended Until Dec. 31
Older adults and Pennsylvanians with disabilities now have until the end of the year to apply for the state’s 2017 Property Tax/Rent Rebate program. The program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded. The maximum standard rebate is $650, but supplemental rebates for certain qualifying homeowners can boost rebates to $975. Eligibility information and forms are available online at RepPeifer.com or by contacting the district office at 2523 Route 6, Suite 2, in Hawley, telephone 570-226-5959. Assistance in filling out the applications is available free of charge at the office. There is no need to pay a private firm for help. Claimants who already applied for rebates may check the status of claims online at revenue.pa.gov by clicking on the “Where’s My Property Tax/Rent Rebate?” link. Claimants may also call, toll-free, 1-888-PATAXES to check the status of their rebates.

Be Aware of Elder Abuse
Friday, June 15, is Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Pennsylvania, and House Resolution 970, which passed the House this week, encourages the public to be more aware of the well-being of the state’s elderly population. Approximately 28,600 reports of elder abuse were made to the Department of Aging in FY 2016-17. It is assumed the number is drastically underestimated, given the fact many cases of elder abuse go unreported in the Commonwealth. Elder abuse comes in many forms including physical abuse, mental abuse, sexual abuse, neglect of care, abandonment and financial exploitation. To report concerns about elder abuse, call the Statewide Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-490-8505. It is available 24 hours a day.

Attention Hunters: Internet Update Could Block Online License Purchases
The Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) is cautioning hunters who purchase their licenses online that an upcoming internet security update may prevent internet-based sales. The update affects all purchasing websites – not just the Pennsylvania Automated Licensing System – and users of older-model computers are impacted most because many of these systems will be unable to make online purchases of any kind once the update is complete. Newer computers largely won’t be affected, though users may need to install updated versions of operating systems and web browsers. According to the PGC, the easiest way to determine whether a computer will be capable of making internet purchases once the update is complete is by visiting  https://tls1test.salesforce.com/s/ to test the system. Licenses for the 2018-19 license year go on sale Monday, June 18. The licenses become valid July 1 and, after that date, all who hunt, trap or who want to apply for an antlerless deer license must have an up-to-date 2018-19 license to do so. A complete list of licensing requirements can be found at pgc.pa.gov.

Representative Mike Peifer
139th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Patricia Hippler
RepPeifer.com / Facebook.com/RepPeifer