Rep. Gomberg bill to help seniors stay in own homes enroute to Governor for signature » News Lincoln County

Rep. Gomberg’s Bill helps low-income seniors and disabled Oregonians stay in their homes

SALEM­—On Monday, the Oregon Senate gave final legislative approval to Rep. Gomberg’s HB 4148A, which provides direct relief to hundreds of seniors struggling to stay in their own homes. The bill changes the interest rate calculation for seniors participating in the state’s property tax deferral program.

“Helping seniors remain in their homes is key to preserving dignity and choice for older Oregonians. Senior Property Tax Deferral is a great program that fulfills these goals. HB 4148 makes minor adjustments that ensure it remains solvent, while protecting seniors from additional fees,” said Rep. Gomberg.

“The Senior and Disabled Property Tax Deferral Program helps thousands of seniors who are at risk of losing their homes,” said Senator Ginny Burdick (D-Portland), chair of the Senate Finance and Revenue Committee. “The change we’re making today provides a measure of fairness for our most vulnerable Oregonians, while maintaining the solvency of the program.”

The Senior and Disabled Property Tax Deferral Program allows seniors and disabled individuals who have qualifying incomes and meet other criteria to defer county property taxes; the state is repaid when their homes are sold.

“It’s our duty to keep the deferral program fund solvent while helping as many people as possible,” said Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum (D-Portland). “Today’s vote gives some relief to seniors struggling to stay in their homes.”

House Bill 4148A would change the calculation for the rate of interest that the Oregon Department of Revenue charges for deferred taxes. Currently, the department charges compound interest on debt accrued since 2011. The bill would change the calculation to apply simple interest to these accounts instead of the more costly compound interest calculation.

“By making this change, we are helping more seniors stay in the homes they’ve built their lives around,” said Senator Alan Bates (D-Medford). “This change will ease the financial burden that seniors face.”

Seniors interested in joining the program should contact the Department of Revenue at questions.dor@state.or.us .

HB 4148A will now go to Governor John A. Kitzhaber for his signature.

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