Berks County Seniors Reap Benefit of Property Tax & Rent Rebate Expansion
Harrisburg, April 29, 2008 — A total of 11,831 Berks County senior citizen homeowners received property tax rebate checks last year — an increase of 7,514 over the prior year — under the state’s dramatically expanded Property Tax and Rent Rebate (PTRR) Program, Senator Michael A. O’Pake (D-Berks) announced today.
The new data “shows that literally millions in additional dollars were pumped back into the pockets of hard-pressed Berks County seniors, widows and widowers 50 and older and disabled adults,” O’Pake said. When combined with rent rebates, a total of 17,165 Berks County citizens received property tax or rent rebates last year.
The PTRR income limit for qualifying homeowners (seniors 65 and older, widows and widowers 50 and older and disabled adults 18 and older) has been increased to $35,000 (with one-half of Social Security not counted) and the maximum rebate check has been increased to $650. The maximum rent rebate under the program has also been increased to $650; although, the $15,000 annual income limit for those who rent (with one-half of Social Security not counted) remains the same.
The Senator said the newly released data from the state Department of Revenue also projects that more than 4,800 Berks County senior homeowners, whose income is under $30,000 and who spend more than 15% of their income on property taxes, will qualify beginning this year for an additional property tax rebate supplement of up to $325. “Some Berks seniors will receive property tax rebate checks this summer of as much as $975,” said O’Pake, noting that this is in addition to the $600 million being distributed this year for property tax relief for all homeowners regardless of age or income.
O’Pake cautioned seniors, however, that participation in the Property Tax and Rent Program is not automatic. “In order to receive the rebate, you must apply and the ‘2007 tax year’ PTRR application deadline is June 30,” O’Pake said. More information is available on the Senator’s website at www.senator-opake.com or by calling the Senator’s district office at 610-929-2151 for assistance.