If you’re a Philly homeowner and a senior citizen, here’s your chance to stop your property taxes from going up. The deadline to apply for the Senior Citizen Tax Freeze program is September 30. This one-time application is all it takes to prevent your annual property tax bill from increasing over time. Read on to discover why now is the time to take advantage of this program.
Senior Freeze at a glance
The Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Freeze program is designed to protect Philly’s most vulnerable seniors. It is one of several City-offered property tax relief programs helping thousands of low-income Philadelphians afford their Real Estate Tax bills. It works by ‘freezing’ your property tax bill at the current amount. That way, your bill remains stable and predictable even if your property’s value or tax rate increases in the future.
If there’s ever a decrease in your property’s value or tax rate, your bill will be updated and locked in at that (lower) rate. But here’s the best part: Starting in 2023, qualifying seniors can ‘freeze’ their property tax at the amount it was for any year between 2018 and 2022 (or 2023) if that’s when you first became eligible.
For example, if you are now 70 years old and believe you qualified when you were 65, you can apply to freeze your property value at the amount it was when you were 65. In other words, if accepted into the program, you will only pay taxes on your assessment from the year you first became eligible or any year after that if your property has since been reassessed at a lower rate.
Who can apply?
This program is both age and income based. You should apply if you are:
- 65 or older,
- 50 or older and a widow of a deceased spouse who was 65 before passing away or
- Living in the same home with a spouse who is 65 or older.
You must also meet certain income requirements depending on what year you are applying for. For example, if applying for 2023, you must be a:
- A single resident earning less than $33,500 a year, or
- Married and making less than $41,500 yearly.
Make sure to submit proof of age and income along with your application. Please review the complete list of income and age requirements on our website.
How can you apply?
While there are multiple ways to enroll, applying online is the fastest and easiest. You can use any mobile device, even your phone. Use the “Search for a property” link on the Philadelphia Tax Center’s homepage under the “Property” panel. You don’t need a username and password. You can upload photos of your documents to the site.
If you would rather submit a paper application, please complete this two-page application form and return it with copies of your proof of age and income. Proof of age could be a birth certificate, marriage certificate, driver’s license, social security award letter, or any document that clearly shows a date of birth.
You can either drop off your application at the Municipal Services Building (MSB) in center city, across from City Hall, or mail it to:
Philadelphia Department of Revenue
P.O. Box 53190
Philadelphia, PA 19105
If approved, you don’t have to reapply; we will automatically enroll you each year. You only have to reapply if there’s a change to your income or deed (for any reason).