It may become easier to get a homestead exemption in Philadelphia, if a pair of bills approved by a City Council Committee succeed.

The first bill would extend the July 31 deadline to apply for a homestead exemption this year to Sept. 13. Finance Director Rob Dubow says only about 190,000 residential property owners in Philadelphia have applied for the the tax relief that exempts the first $30,000 of a primary residence's assessment from taxation.

"We think there are approximately 340,000 residential property owners in Philadelphia," Dubow said Wednesday. "We would assume that the vast majority of those would deem their property to be their primary residence, which would make them eligible for the exemption."

Councilman Curtis Jones said he is pleased the application extension is moving forward.

"I cannot tell you how many constituents of mine have called in a panic wondering if they would be excluded from the exemption," he said.

The second bill would give those who buy a home between now and Dec. 1 30 days from the day of sale to apply for the homestead exemption.