House passes bill to hold lottery winners accountable for debts

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Lottery winners could see unpaid taxes and child support payments deducted from their prize money under legislation that unanimously passed the state House on Monday.

House Bill 674 requires the Department of Revenue to determine whether lottery winners with prizes of more than $2,500 have any unpaid state taxes. If the taxpayer owes back taxes and all appeal rights have been exhausted, the tax owed will be deducted from the winnings.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Aaron Bernstine (R-Beaver/Butler/Lawrence), said his measure also requires the Revenue Department to determine if prize winners have outstanding court-ordered obligations such as court costs, fines and restitution.

Additionally, the lottery winner’s information would be sent to the Department of Human Services. If a winner receives public assistance benefits, the department will determine if they’re still eligible for those benefits.

The legislation is awaiting consideration in the state Senate.

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