HARRISBURG – Seniors and residents with disabilities have nine days to submit Property Tax/Rent Rebate program applications before the Dec. 31 deadline.
“More than half a million seniors have already received rebates this year, but we know there are about 128,000 more people who qualify but haven’t yet applied,” said acting Secretary of Revenue Stephen H. Stetler. “As families and friends gather for the holidays, I encourage them to ask loved ones who may qualify for a rebate if they have applied.
“We don’t want a single senior who qualifies for this program to miss out on money they need, especially as the program winds down this winter, when heating and energy bills are due.”
Stetler also reminded residents applications are available for download at www.papropertytaxrelief.com, and forms and assistance are available at Revenue district offices, legislators’ offices, area agencies on aging, and senior centers. Assistance is also available by calling, toll-free, 1-888-222-9190 Monday through Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. State offices will be closed on Dec. 25. Applications must be postmarked by Wednesday, Dec. 31, in order to be considered.
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.
Pennsylvania is providing a total of $786 million in property tax relief this year, including expanded rebates from the state’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate program and first-ever general property tax relief for all homeowners distributed through school districts this past summer. As a result, about 113,000 seniors had their entire school property tax bills eliminated.
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, more than 600,000 people have applied for a rebate and, as of Dec. 12, rebates totaling $266.4 million have been sent to more than 558,900 homeowners and renters.
The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program is one of five programs supported by the Pennsylvania Lottery. Since the program’s 1971 inception, seniors and disabled adults have received $4 billion worth of property tax and rent rebates. The expanded portion of the rebate program is being paid for with revenue from slots gaming.