FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 10, 2012
Jared Mason-Gere (503) 986-1907
House Democrats Protect Senior Tax Deferral Program
Bill Expands Senior Property Tax Deferral Program
SALEM- Seniors in Oregon would receive additional assistance on their property taxes through Oregon’s Senior Property Tax Deferral Program under a bipartisan bill championed by Oregon House Democrats yesterday. HB 4039 passed the House on a 58-0 vote, with two absences.
“This action extends this critical program to nearly two thousand additional homeowners,” said Rep. Phil Barnhart (D-Central Lane and Linn Counties), who co-chairs the House Revenue Committee and worked extensively on the bill. “We had a good bill in 2011 that preserved this program. We’re now taking additional steps to extend a hand to seniors who are struggling to stay in their homes.”
The Senior Property Tax Deferral Program faced insolvency, so legislators in 2011 passed HB 2543 that session to keep the program available to qualified seniors. After receiving updated data, lawmakers were able to expand the program further to include more seniors for two years.
“This should help these additional program participants weather the housing crisis until property values rebound,” said Barnhart.
Representative Betty Komp (D-Woodburn) was among legislators who had pushed for the expansion of the program after conversations with many struggling seniors in her district.
“A senior in my district had to choose between paying for her cancer treatments or property taxes, and was trying to find some peace of mind. This bill today will give her that peace of mind,” said Komp.
House Democrats have made it a priority this February session to pass bills and protect programs that allow middle class families and seniors to stay in their homes.