If you believe you are eligible for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program but have yet to apply, I have some good news to share. The deadline has been extended until the end of the year.
More than 600,000 older Pennsylvanians and residents with disabilities are expected to benefit from the program, which provides rebates on property taxes and rent paid in 2011.
The program benefits income-eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older; widows and widowers 50 or older; and people with disabilities 18 or older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 for renters.
All forms of income must be counted, but half of Social Security, Supplemental Security or federal Railroad Retirement Tier 1 benefits are excluded from the total.
The maximum standard rebate is $650, but supplemental rebates automatically calculated by the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue for senior homeowners with lower incomes can boost the property tax rebate to $975.
Seniors and others who received a rebate last year on their 2010 property taxes or rent should have received an application for the 2011 tax year in the mail.
Applications and free help completing the form are available at my office at 3689 California Ave, Pittsburgh. The phone number is 412-321-5523. A firm has been soliciting Pennsylvania residents, offering to complete the form for a fee. You do not have to pay to have this form completed.
You can also obtain a Property Tax/Rent Rebate claim form online at www.revenue.state.pa.us, by calling, toll free, 1-888-222-9190, or at local area agencies on aging and senior centers.
Those who have already applied for a rebate can check the status of their claim online at www.revenue.state.pa.us or by calling, toll free, 1-888-PATAXES. The state will begin sending rebate checks to people who’ve already applied after July 1. Claims for people who apply after that will be processed as they are received.
The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program is one of five programs supported by the Pennsylvania Lottery, which, since 1971, has funded more than $4.8 billion worth of property tax and rent relief for senior citizens and other qualifying residents.
CONTACT: Bob Laylo