GOVERNOR RENDELL SAYS PROPERTY TAX/RENT REBATE DEADLINE IS FAST APPROACHING
HARRISBURG, PA – December 2, 2008 – (RealEstateRama) – Governor Edward G. Rendell today reminded eligible residents to apply by Dec. 31 for rebates up to $650 from Pennsylvania’s expanded Property Tax/Rent Rebate program.
“More than half a million seniors already received rebates this year, but we know there are about 128,000 more people who qualify but haven’t yet applied,” Governor Rendell said. “I encourage all Pennsylvanians to consider if anyone they know – parents, grandparents or friends – may qualify for a rebate and help those loved ones apply before the Dec. 31 deadline.
“These rebates helped eliminate school property taxes for more than 113,000 seniors this year, and I don’t want a single qualifying senior to miss out on this help to pay their taxes.”
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 increased the income limit from $15,000 to $35,000 (which excludes half of Social Security income) for homeowners and raised the maximum rebate for both homeowners and renters from $500 to $650.
Property Tax/Rent Rebate claim forms (PA-1000) and information are available online at www.PaPropertyTaxRelief.com and by calling 1-888-222-9190, between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Residents requesting forms by mail must call or submit Web site requests by Monday, Dec. 22, to allow sufficient time for mailing. Forms can be downloaded from the Web site until Dec. 31.
Forms and assistance also are available at Department of Revenue district offices (listed in the government section of local telephone directories), local Area Agencies on Aging, senior centers and state legislators’ offices. Claimants are reminded to provide all the necessary income, property tax or rental information for their claims to be processed accurately and quickly. Applications must be postmarked by Wednesday, Dec. 31, in order to be considered.
“There are people and offices all over the state ready and willing to help seniors through the application process,” said Acting Secretary of Revenue Stephen Stetler. “The program deadline is nearing, but time still remains for residents to explore the program and apply for rebates.”
Pennsylvania is providing a total of $786 million in property tax relief this year, including expanded rebates from the state’s senior citizen Property Tax/Rent Rebate program and first-ever general property tax relief for all homeowners that was distributed through school districts this past summer. As a result, an estimated 113,000 seniors had their entire school property tax bills eliminated.
Act 1 of Special Session 2006 delivered the largest property tax cut in Pennsylvania history, using proceeds from slots gaming. In addition to the expanded rebate program, the law provides state-funded tax relief through reductions in the tax bills that school districts send out each summer. The broad-based property tax relief started this year at an average of nearly $200 per household across the state.
About 600,000 seniors are expected to benefit from rebates this year, compared to 314,000 before the program’s expansion in 2006. Last year, 564,000 seniors received more than $240 million in rebates. So far this year, about 600,000 people have applied for a rebate and, as of Nov. 24, rebates totaling $262 million have been sent to more than 590,000 homeowners and renters.
The expanded household income limits and maximum 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 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 $3.8 billion has been paid to qualified applicants. The expanded portion of the rebate program is funded with revenue from slots gaming.