HARRISBURG – The deadline to apply for Pennsylvania’s recently-expanded Property Tax/Rent Rebate program has been extended from June 30 to Dec. 31.
“We are extending the program deadline again this year because we want to be sure that those who are eligible have ample time to apply for property tax or rent rebates,” Secretary of Revenue Thomas W. Wolf said today. “The rebate program was dramatically expanded this year, so we especially want to give some extra time to those people who are applying for a rebate for the first time.”
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. Last year, 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 both homeowners and renters from $500 to $650. Applicants can exclude, as income, one-half of Social Security, Supplemental Security Income and Railroad Retirement Tier 1 benefits.
“Because applicants can exclude half of Social Security income, residents can make significantly more than $35,000 a year and still qualify for a rebate,” said Wolf.
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 will now receive a $650 rebate and those with incomes between $8,001 and $15,000 will receive a $500 rebate.
As of today, the department has received more than 460,000 Property Tax/Rent Rebate applications. Rebates for property taxes or rent paid during 2006 will be distributed beginning on July 1, as specified by law. After June 30, rebates will be distributed as the claims are received and approved.
To check on the receipt and status of a claim, call the department’s automated FACT and Information Line at 1-888-PATAXES (1-888-728-2937). Touch-tone telephone service is required. Callers will need their Social Security Number and the amount of their rebate. People can also call 1-888-222-9190 between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. for help.
Property Tax/Rent Rebate claim forms (PA-1000) are available online at www.revenue.state.pa.us or by calling 1-888-222-9190. Forms and assistance also are available at the department’s 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.
The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program is one of four programs supported by the Pennsylvania Lottery. Since the program’s 1971 inception, $3.76 billion has been paid to qualified applicants. The expanded portion of the rebate program is being paid for with revenue from slots gaming.