The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

August 2, 2013

Help retired homeowners

Daily Item

---- — As a newly retired individual I am acutely aware of the fact that my income will remain basically flat for the rest of my life. I also realize my expenses are going to continue to increase. However, I have certain options that I can pick and choose to try and reduce my expenses in most areas except property taxes.

I suppose I am somewhat sensitized to the relentless property tax increases since my father was basically taxed out of his home. When both his taxes and insurance reached 50 percent of his income, he finally had to sell his house.

Dad lives with me now and I consider this a blessing. However, I wonder how many other retired people are being taxed out of their homes and forced to move to an apartment or a government subsidized home.

It seems there is little or no thought given to our senior citizens when it comes to property taxes. With the current Pennsylvania pension crisis it doesn't take much to figure out what is going to happen to our property taxes. Significant increases are on the horizon.

Isn't it time to come to the aid of the retired homeowner? I would like to offer a simple solution that would help us. At the point when the property owners retires, freeze their taxes on their primary residence.

After all, many of us have been paying taxes for 40-plus years. There should be a point in time where our tax obligations level off the same as our income. Oh, and to our politicians, we are the largest voting block in the state and we vote. Let's work together and come to a resolution that works for both parties.

Randy Straub, New Columbia