Deadline to Apply for Rebate Program Extended to Dec. 31
HARRISBURG, PA – July 1, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) – More than 475,000 senior homeowners, renters and people with disabilities will be issued rebates today totaling $222.7 million through the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. The number is approximately 58,000 more rebates than were issued last year on July 1.
“Property taxes and rent rebate checks were mailed today and should arrive in mailboxes later this week,” said Secretary of Revenue Stephen H. Stetler, who noted that, by law, rebates are distributed beginning July 1. “Homeowners and renters who opted to have the rebates directly deposited into bank accounts – about 88,200 people – will receive their money today.”
As of June 26, the Revenue Department had received more than 550,000 rebate applications. About 578,000 seniors are expected to benefit from rebates this year, compared to 310,000 before the program’s expansion in 2006.
An estimated 110,000 senior homeowners will have school property taxes completely eliminated when rebates combine with $613 million in slots gaming-funded general property tax relief that all homeowners will see itemized on school district property tax bills this summer.
The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. A 2006 program expansion increased the income limit for homeowners from $15,000 to $35,000 (which excludes half of Social Security income) and raised the maximum standard rebate for homeowners and renters from $500 to $650. The income limit for renters is $15,000.
The program expansion also provides for supplemental property tax rebates of up to $325 – on top of the standard rebates – to homeowners in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Scranton; and to those in other parts of the state who pay more than 15 percent of income on property taxes. The Revenue Department automatically calculates supplemental rebates for qualifying homeowners.
The deadline to apply for the rebate program was extended to Dec. 31; rebates will continue to be distributed as claims are approved through the rest of the year.
Property Tax/Rent Rebate forms (PA-1000) and additional information are available online 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 adults with disabilities have received $4.2 billion worth of property tax and rent rebates. The expanded portion of the rebate program is being paid for with revenue from slots gaming.