HARRISBURG – Gov. Edward G. Rendell reminded residents that only three weeks remain to apply for rebates of up to $650 from the expanded Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program.
“I encourage all who qualify to take advantage of the tax relief available to them and apply before the Dec. 31 deadline,” Rendell said. “I don’t want a single senior to miss out on the help they need in paying their property taxes, and I encourage all Pennsylvanians to consider if anyone they know – parents, grandparents or friends – may qualify for a rebate.”
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. The program expansion increases the income limit from $15,000 to $35,000 (which excludes half of Social Security income) for homeowners and raises the maximum rebate for both homeowners and renters from $500 to $650.
Applications must be postmarked by Dec. 31, in order to be considered. Property Tax/Rent Rebate claim forms (PA-1000) and information are available online and by calling 1-888-222-9190. Residents requesting forms by mail must call or submit requests online by Dec. 21, to allow sufficient time for mailing.
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.
“There are people and offices all over the state ready and willing to help seniors through the application process,” said Secretary of Revenue Tom Wolf. “The program deadline is approaching fast, but time still remains for newly eligible residents to explore the program and apply for rebates.”
To better serve seniors who need help applying for the rebate program, the Department of Revenue’s customer service center (1-888-222-9190) is open longer. The service center is open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (except for Dec. 29). The call center will be open during regular business hours, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., on Fridays and during the week of Christmas (Dec. 24 – 28).
Claimants can check on the status of their rebate applications by calling the department’s automated FACT and Information Line at 1-888-PATAXES (728-2937).
Act 1 of Special Session 2006, signed by Rendell on June 27, 2006, delivers the largest property tax cut in Pennsylvania history — $1 billion annually to Pennsylvania homeowners. Seniors get the most significant property tax relief through an expansion of the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program beginning this year.
Property tax relief for all homeowners is expected next year.
So far this year, $224.8 million in rebates have been sent to 516,432 homeowners and renters through the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. That’s 202,525 more households and $104 million more than last year.
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 being paid for with revenue from slots gaming.