Governor Rendell Says $201 million in Property Tax Rebates Sent to Seniors

HARRISBURG, Oct. 2, 2007 – Governor Edward G. Rendell today announced that more than 450,000 senior citizens have received Property Tax/Rent Rebates so far this year. Thanks to the state’s new property tax relief law, more than 140,000 additional senior citizens received rebates. And, overall, the program paid $80 million more than last year.

Governor Rendell recognized Nicholas and Louise Conjar, from Steelton, Dauphin County, who are receiving a 22 percent rebate on their property taxes for the first time.

Pennsylvanians have until Dec. 31 to apply for a rebate.

“After more than 30 years of debate and failed property tax relief efforts, older Pennsylvanians like Nicholas and Louise Conjar are finally starting to get the property tax relief they deserve,” said Governor Rendell during an event with other seniors who received property tax rebates this year, “and this is just the beginning. Property tax relief for all homeowners from gaming revenue is expected next year.

“Seniors, many who are living on fixed incomes, struggle the most with rising property taxes. Last year, the Conjars, like hundreds-of-thousands of other seniors in the state, made too much money to qualify for the state’s property tax rebate program. Not this year. This year, for the first time, they qualified for a rebate to help pay a portion of their property taxes.”

So far this year, $200.8 million in rebates have been sent to 453,951 homeowners and renters through the state’s recently-expanded Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program – that is 141,044 more people and $80 million more than last year.

“We know that there are even more people who qualify for the rebate program but haven’t applied yet,” the Governor said. “I encourage everyone who thinks they may be eligible for a rebate to get their application in by the end of the year. I don’t want one senior to miss out on receiving the help they need in paying their property taxes.”

Act 1 of Special Session 2006, signed on June 27, 2006, delivers the largest property tax cut in Pennsylvania history – $1 billion annually to Pennsylvania homeowners. Seniors get the most significant property tax relief through an expansion of the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program.

The total number of senior homeowners receiving property tax rebates under the state’s program is estimated to increase from about 155,000 last year to 575,000 by the end of this year. Nearly 200,000 of these senior homeowners will pay no school property taxes once gaming revenue is available for general property tax relief to all homeowners.

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. The 2006 program expansion increases the income limit from $15,000 to $35,000 (which excludes half of Social Security income) for homeowners and raises the maximum rebate for both homeowners and renters from $500 to $650.

The expanded household income limits and rebate amounts are:\

  • $0 and $8,000 $650 rebate
  • $8,001 to $15,000 $500 rebate
  • $15,001 to $18,000 $300 rebate
  • $18,001 to $35,000 $250 rebate

Renters with incomes between $0 and $8,000 receive a $650 rebate and those with incomes between $8,001 and $15,000 receive a $500 rebate.

In the Harrisburg region, including Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry and York counties, 27,510 more seniors have applied for a rebate compared to last year.

The deadline to apply for Pennsylvania’s expanded Property Tax/Rent Rebate program was extended from June 30 to Dec. 31. Property Tax/Rent Rebate claim forms (PA-1000) are available online at www.papropertytaxrelief.com or by calling 1-888-222-9190.

The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, created in 1971, is one of five programs supported by proceeds from the Pennsylvania Lottery. The expanded portion of the rebate program is being paid for with revenue from slots gaming.

The Rendell administration is committed to creating a first-rate public education system, protecting our most vulnerable citizens and continuing economic investment to support our communities and businesses. To find out more about Governor Rendell’s initiatives and to sign up for his weekly newsletter, visit his Web site at: www.governor.state.pa.us.

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