— By Cathleen MacCaul, Advocacy Director, AARP Washington This session the House and Senate both have slim Democratic majorities in Olympia, changing committee leadership and impacting the kinds of bills that move forward. There are many challenges facing lawmakers including large investments in school funding, along with increased spending for housing and mental health.  Additionally, the state may have to quickly respond to federal decisions impacting health programs under the Affordable Care Act like continued funding for CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance …

— By Vanessa Ho Every weekend, Mark Diimmel goes out for dinner and a movie with his sister, who often takes him to get Chinese or Italian food, or maybe burgers and a milkshake. Diimmel, 64, has schizophrenia and lives in an adult family home in Bremerton, paid for by Medicaid and Social Security. But the outings have become more difficult. Everything costs more, while his personal-needs allowance—the amount of income Diimmel is allowed to keep for himself—has remained the same, …

— Many low-income homeowners in Idaho are leaving money on the table by failing to take advantage of a property-tax break. AARP research shows that fewer than half of those eligible for the state’s property-tax-reduction program actually apply for it. AARP Idaho is working with the Idaho State Tax Commission to inform state residents about the program. For qualified applicants, property taxes on their home and up to one acre of land could be reduced by as much as $1,320. Homeowners …

— No End in Sight for State Budget Debate This week the Pennsylvania House of Representatives met to debate a revised budget proposal submitted by Governor Wolf.  The budget relied on revenue increases achieved by raising the Personal Income Tax from 3.07% to 3.57% and imposing a 3.5% extraction tax on natural gas.  Under this proposal the Personal Income tax of a person or family making $60,000 would increase by $300 a year.  The direct impact of the shale tax on …

— Thousands of Nebraskans 65 and older are newly eligible for a break on their real estate taxes. The deadline to apply is June 30. In 2014, AARP Nebraska successfully pressed for legislation that extends property tax relief to an estimated 20,000 additional homeowners 65 and older. The change in eligibility requirements aims to ease the tax burden for more retirees living on fixed incomes. The revised statute also increases the amount of relief for about 10,000 people. Under the new …

— Property taxes can be burdensome to people living on fixed incomes, and consumer advocates are concerned that more than half of Idahoans eligible for tax relief fail to apply. AARP Idaho is urging qualified citizens not to leave money on the table. The state offers property tax reductions ranging from $150 to $1,320 for people whose income is below $29,100, and who also are widowed; who are over age 65; who are former hostages, prisoners of war or other qualified …

— In addition to the 12 percent state paid credit that all North Dakotans receive, there are a couple of property tax credits for which you may be eligible. The Homestead Tax Credit is for senior citizens and disabled individuals of any age. The Disabled Veterans Tax Credit is for disabled veterans of the United States armed forces. Homestead Tax Credit The Homestead Tax Credit is available to individuals who are 65 years old or older, or are permanently and totally …

— Strengthening supports for Nebraska’s 300,000 family caregivers so their loved ones can live independently in their homes and communities tops the list of measures AARP Nebraska will champion during the 2015 legislative session. AARP is calling on state lawmakers to pass LB 320, the Aging and Disability Resource Center Act introduced by State Sen. Kate Bolz of Lincoln. The ADRCs would be easy-to-find places in communities across the state where Nebraskans can seek help with the caregiving and long-term care …

—       For Immediate Release July 14, 2014 Contact: Ivan Lanier Cell:  202-351-9862 Email:  ilanier@aarp.org Washington, DC – Continuing to advocate on behalf of Washington, DC’s older citizens, AARP DC supports the budget adopted by the DC Council which expands the District’s property tax relief mechanisms for seniors. The budget also makes substantial cuts in income taxes that will help all households, including most senior households.  The tax changes will raise taxes next year on some senior residents, as …

— Fortunately for thousands of older Nebraskans, more property tax relief is on the way. The Nebraska Legislature approved a measure this session broadening the income eligibility for the homestead exemption. LB 986 extends property tax relief to an additional 20,000 homeowners age 65 and older and increases the amount of relief for an additional 10,000 people. The bill is estimated to bring $4.6 million in homestead exemptions to older Nebraskans. “Property taxes are considered by many retirees in Nebraska to …