Feb. 25, 2015

HARRISBURG –To ensure that state delinquent taxes are paid before individuals enjoy their state lottery winnings, Rep. Adam Harris (R-Franklin/Juniata/Mifflin) authored House Bill 251, which passed the House.
House Bill 251 requires the Department of Revenue (DOR) to determine whether taxpayers who win a single prize of more than $2,500 from the Pennsylvania Lottery have any unpaid state taxes. If the taxpayer does have an outstanding state tax liability and all appeal rights have been exhausted, the amount of state tax that is owed will be deducted from the winnings and paid to the Commonwealth.
“When taxpayers receive unexpected extra money, it is the perfect time to eliminate unmet financial responsibilities,” Harris said. “This bill provides lottery winners with the independence and freedom of debts that have been paid.”
The bill also mandates that the DOR determine if prize winners have outstanding court-ordered obligations such as court costs, fines and restitution. If winners do have an obligation, that amount will be deducted from the winnings following deductions for child support and unpaid state taxes.
Another important part of the bill is the Welfare Benefit Check. The DOR must send the winner’s information to the Department of Human Services to determine if he or she is a recipient of public assistance benefits. If the prizewinner does receive benefits, a determination will be made regarding if he or she remains eligible for those benefits.
“The Welfare Benefit Check is an important part of the bill because it is imperative that public assistance funds are available for people who truly need them,” Harris said. “It protects those who are less fortunate and ensures the integrity of the welfare system.”
House Bill 251 will now move to the Senate for further consideration.
For more information on Harris’s legislative goals, visit RepAdamHarris.com.
Representative Adam Harris
82nd District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Alison Evans