Deadline to Apply for Rebate Program Extended to Dec. 31
HARRISBURG – Secretary of Revenue Tom Wolf today announced that $203.8 million was distributed to 417,052 senior homeowners and renters today through the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, 107,113 more rebates than were issued last year on July 1.
“Property tax and rent rebate checks were mailed today and should arrive in mailboxes later this week,” said Wolf, who noted that, by law, rebates are distributed beginning July 1. “Homeowners and renters who opted to have their rebates directly deposited into their bank accounts — about 66,300 — will receive their money today.”
An estimated 68,000 senior homeowners will have school property taxes completely eliminated when rebates combine with the more than $600 million in slots gaming funded general property tax reduction that all homeowners will see itemized on school district property tax bills this summer.
The deadline to apply for the 2007 rebate was extended to Dec. 31; rebates will continue to be distributed as claims are approved through the rest of the year.
The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older.
In 2006, Governor Edward G. Rendell signed a law to dramatically expand the rebate program by increasing the income limit for homeowners from $15,000 to $35,000 and raising the maximum rebate for homeowners and renters from $500 to $650. Applicants can exclude one-half of Social Security wages, Supplemental Security payments and Railroad Retirement Tier 1 benefits as income.
About 600,000 seniors are expected to benefit from rebates this year, compared to 310,000 before the program’s expansion. Last year more than 562,000 seniors received more than $240 million in rebates.
The 2006 Taxpayer Relief Act that dramatically expanded the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program also provided for additional money to be added to the program when statewide property tax relief money became available.
Of the rebates distributed today, $25.3 million in additional property tax rebates were distributed to 109,770 rebate recipients in Pittsburgh, Scranton and Philadelphia – where local wage/income tax rates are very high – and to rebate recipients in other parts of the state who pay more than 15 percent of their incomes on property taxes. The supplemental property tax rebates, equal to 50 percent of base rebates, are available this year for the first time to an estimated 187,000 seniors.
Property Tax/Rent Rebate forms (PA-1000) are available at www.PaPropertyTaxRelief.com and by calling 1-888-222-9190. Forms and assistance also are available at Revenue district offices (listed in the blue pages of local telephone directories), local Area Agencies on Aging, senior centers and state legislators’ offices.
The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program is one of five programs supported by the Pennsylvania Lottery. Since the program’s 1971 inception, seniors and disabled adults have received $4 billion worth of property tax and rent rebates. The expanded portion of the rebate program is being paid for with revenue from slots gaming.