Meehan Bill Aids Taxpayers and School Districts, Cracks Down on Tax-Delinquent Landlords
WASHINGTON – Congressman Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.) this week introduced legislation that prohibits federal Section 8 housing support from going to landlords delinquent on their property taxes. The Protect Our Schools and Tax Delinquents Act will help school districts lessen property tax burdens by incentivizing landlords to fully pay their tax bills.
“Tax-delinquent landlords shouldn’t reap the benefit from federal housing dollars while their own local property taxes go unpaid,” said Congressman Meehan. “Taxpayers – particularly seniors – face growing property tax bills each year and school districts are already facing shortfalls. This bill will incentivize landlords to pay what they owe. It will mean more resources for our schools. And it will ultimately mean lower property tax bills for hardworking families that pay their taxes in full and on time.”
Meehan’s bill would allow public housing agencies to divert Housing Choice Voucher payments, commonly known as Section 8 payments, to local and municipal governments if the property owner is not current on their taxes. It protects low-income tenants by holding them harmless for their landlord’s tax delinquency.
Tens of thousands of dollars in property taxes from Section 8 landlords go unpaid each year across Pennsylvania. A 2015 audit in Allegheny County, for example, found that Section 8 property owners had failed to pay more than $508,000 in county, municipal or school property taxes since 2012.
A 2007 study by the Government Accountability Office found some 37,000 landlords nationwide participating in the Section 8 program owed an estimated $520 million in unpaid taxes.