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Bill seeks option for homeowners over 55

There may be additional help on the way for homeowners over 55 who need extra income. Legislation recently introduced would allow these homeowners to sell their homes at fair market prices to institutions. They would retain a lifetime right to live on the property and receive a regular prearranged annuity payment from the institution.

New provisions of the bill include a one-time capital-gains tax exemption of up to $125,000 for the homeowner plus a full depreciation schedule for the institution ''renting'' to the former owner. Present tax laws do not allow these latter arrangements.

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The new bill, introduced by Sen. Arlen Specter (R) of Pennsylvania, is expected to receive committee recommendations and perhaps full-Senate treatment in the current session.

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