I have to start a "Diary"...

Sorry I’ve been absent, just a lot of things going on here. One of which is one or the other American Eskimo pups jumping on the bed and scratching my back to get attention as I try to use my computer.

Now about that “Diary”. We all know as we age we sometimes get forgetful. That being said, let me go back about four years ago. My wife of 30 years passed away in my arms just 30 days after her 65th birthday. Life was hectic. Slowly I made progress with paying off her credit cards and getting insurance that didn’t quite cover her funeral, the cemetery plots nor the stone. But she has a sum of money in an independent IRA that after after presenting a death certificate, a check was issued that sort of closed all outstanding debts.

Now go back about 2.5 years. The property was in both our names so I filed to have it changed to just my name with another copy of the death certificate. Previous to this we came under a program in Pennsylvania that took advantage of the taxing of casinos in the state. It was the “Homestead Act”. This had the state pay a portion of one’s school tax to the city saving homeowners for their primary residence a goodly amount of cash at tax time.

When They changed the name on the deed, they removed me from the “Homestead Act” without informing me.

For two years, more on that later, I had to pay a school tax to Scranton of $1,848.11. This would have been cut about in half by the “Homestead Act”.

I don’t remember, (here is the part about a Diary), when I sent them the request to be re-evaluated for the Homestead Act, but they claim I asked in January of this year. I was thinking that it was earlier, having noticed the higher tax in the previous year. I got their notification of approval in the mail about April 30th. So there was no relief this year. Nor any other year in spite of me still being the owner from co-owner.

The only thing I could do was to contact my state representative and ask him to work on something that would require the clerks that changed the deed names to immediately contact the owner to advise of the workings of the Homestead Act and the need to re-apply for it. Or, if one of the same two people that were named on the deed is now a single owner, the Homestead Act would apply without the owner re-applying. I said this is particularly hard on the elderly as our memory fades about such things and the loss of two years worth of savings, about $1,800 hurts senior citizens or anyone younger that looses a spouse.

There are more reasons I need a Diary, but I thought that I would share this one problem I had in Pennsylvania.