HARRISBURG – The deadline to apply for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for seniors and disabled residents has been extended from June 30 until the end of the year.
“Governor Rendell is extending the program deadline again this year because he wants to be sure that those who are eligible have ample time to apply for property tax or rent rebates,” Secretary of Revenue Tom Wolf said today.
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.
In 2006, Governor Edward G. Rendell signed a law expanding the rebate program by increasing the income limit from $15,000 to $35,000 for homeowners and raising the maximum rebate for homeowners and renters from $500 to $650. Applicants can exclude as income one-half of Social Security wages, Supplemental Security income and Railroad Retirement Tier 1 benefits.
The 2006 Taxpayer Relief Act that dramatically expanded the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for older Pennsylvanians also provided for benefits to be added to the program when statewide property tax relief money became available.
Since statewide property tax relief will be delivered to all Pennsylvania homeowners this summer, the following benefits are now available through the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program:
Qualifying homeowners in Pittsburgh, Scranton and Philadelphia — where local wage/income tax rates are very high — whose incomes are $30,000 or less will receive additional money equal to 50 percent of their base rebates.
Qualifying homeowners in the rest of the state whose incomes are $30,000 or less and whose property tax bills equal more than 15 percent of their incomes will also receive additional money equal to 50 percent of their base rebates.
About 600,000 seniors will benefit from rebates this year, compared to 310,000 before the program’s expansion. Approximately 187,000 seniors are eligible for increased rebates, which the Revenue Department will automatically calculate.
The result is that approximately 68,000 senior homeowners will have school property taxes eliminated because, in addition to a rebate, they will receive the general property tax reduction that all homeowners will see itemized on school district property tax bills this summer.
The department had received more than 515,000 Property Tax/Rent Rebate applications as of May 30. As specified by law, rebates will begin to be distributed on July 1. After June 30, rebates will be distributed as claims are received and processed.
Property Tax/Rent Rebate forms (PA-1000) 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 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.