Grandparents and working parents deserve tax breaks

By Councilman Al Taubenberger (R-at large)

Taubenberger

We live in economically challenging times. Wages have not kept pace with inflation, leaving many Philadelphians – especially working grandparents and those with children at home – struggling to make ends meet.

Recently in City Council, I introduced four ordinances intended to give Philadelphians with children a meaningful break on their taxes.

The first ordinance, titled the Grandparent Child Care Tax Credit, is specifically intended to give grandparents who are serving as the primary caregivers for their biological or legal grandchildren a much-needed break on their annual real estate taxes. I hear from our city’s senior citizens all the time just how difficult it is for them to remain in the city and still make ends meet.

Unfortunately, the number of grandparents who serve as primary caregivers for their grandchildren continues to grow, here in Philadelphia and across the nation. There are numerous societal issues that are behind this growing trend – joblessness, poverty, addiction, mental illness and more. The parents often have no choice but to place their children in the care of the children’s grandparents, many of whom are on fixed incomes.

The Grandparent Child Care Tax Credit I proposed would provide an annual tax credit equal to 80% of the grandparents’ annual real estate taxes, with a max credit of $3,800 per tax year. Any unused real estate tax credit in any given tax year would carry over to the next tax year. Only one grandparent could claim the grandchild or grandchildren as dependents in any given tax year. Grandparents would apply for the Grandparent Child Care Tax Credit by completing a form through the city Department of Revenue.

The second ordinance I introduced is titled the Working Grandparent Tax Credit and it would provide an annual real estate tax credit for any grandparent who can reasonably demonstrate that they are the primary caregiver for their biological or legal grandchildren’s well-being and who also is still in the workforce.

This ordinance is in response to the growing number of grandparents who must continue to work beyond what most would consider to be a retirement age in order to make ends meet and who also serve as the primary caretakers of their children. Grandparents who qualify for both the Grandparent Child Care Tax Credit and the Working Grandparent Tax Credit may apply for both, but can only receive the max annual real estate tax credit of $3,800.

The third ordinance is intended to give a real estate tax break to working Philadelphia parents who have to place their child or children in daycare. The Parent-Childcare Real Estate Tax Credit would provide an annual tax credit equal to 80% of the parents’ annual real estate taxes, with a max credit of $3,800 per tax year.

The fourth and final ordinance I introduced is the Parent-Childcare Wage Tax Credit, designed to help working parents who have children in daycare/childcare. This ordinance would provide an annual tax credit equal to 80% of the parents’ annual city wage tax, with a max credit of $3,800 per tax year.

Many Philadelphia families have no choice but to have both the mother and/or father work to make ends meet. Those with young children often have no choice but to place their children in daycare, which can be an expensive proposition. They, too, deserve a break on their taxes.

These four ordinances address financial inequities that adversely impact our city’s seniors and working families. As long as I am fortunate enough to continue to represent the hardworking people of Philadelphia in Council, I will continue to fight for economic fairness. ••