Property Tax Bills to be Eliminated for 110,000 Senior Homeowners

Property Tax Bills to be Eliminated for 110,000 Senior Homeowners

HARRISBURG, PA – June 3, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — The deadline to apply for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program for older adults and residents with disabilities has been extended from June 30 to December 31.

“Property Tax/Rent Rebates are combining with general property tax relief from slots gaming to completely eliminate school property taxes for about 110,000 older adults this year,” said Secretary of Revenue Stephen H. Stetler. “Governor Rendell is extending the program deadline again this year because he wants to be sure all those who are eligible have ample time to apply for property tax or rent rebates.”
The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians who are 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 from $15,000 to $35,000 (which excludes half of Social Security income) for homeowners and raises the maximum standard rebate for both homeowners and renters from $500 to $650. 
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.
As of May 29, the Revenue Department had received more than 517,000 rebate applications. About 578,000 older Pennsylvanians and residents with disabilities are expected to benefit from the program this year, as compared to 310,000 before the 2006 program expansion. 

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 claim forms (PA-1000) and information are available online at www.PaPropertyTaxRelief.com and by calling 1-888-222-9190. Forms and assistance also are available at Department of Revenue district offices (listed in the government section of telephone directories), local Area Agencies on Aging, senior centers and state legislators’ offices. 
Claimants who already applied for Property Tax/Rent Rebates may check the status of claims online at www.PaPropertyTaxRelief.com or by calling, toll-free, 1-888-PATAXES.
The household income limits and maximum standard rebate amounts for homeowners 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 now receive a $650 rebate and those with incomes between $8,001 and $15,000 receive a $500 rebate.

The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program is one of five programs supported by the Pennsylvania Lottery. Since the program’s 1971 inception, more than $4 billion has been paid to eligible older adults and residents with disabilities. The expanded portion of the property tax/rent rebate program is paid for with revenue from slots gaming.

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