Governor Rendell Reminds Residents of Dec. 31 Property Tax/Rent Rebate Deadline, Free Application Assistance Available - Nearly 88,000 Eligible Older Adults, People with Disabilities Have Not Yet Applied.
Governor Edward G. Rendell today reminded eligible older adults and people with disabilities that Dec. 31 is the deadline to apply for rebates of up to $975 from Pennsylvania's Property Tax/Rent Rebate program, and free application assistance is available.
"Nearly 619,000 seniors already applied for rebates this year, but we know there are about 88,000 more people who qualify but have not yet applied," Governor Rendell said. "I encourage all Pennsylvanians to review the program's criteria to consider if anyone they know may qualify for a rebate, and help those loved ones apply before the Dec. 31 deadline."
In response to recent inquiries and complaints regarding fee-based Property Tax/Rent Rebate program application filing services offered privately, Governor Rendell reminded residents that free assistance is available at hundreds of locations across the state.
"It's unfortunate that some companies charge fees to provide a service that the government and other agencies provide for free. Application forms and assistance are available at no cost from Department of Revenue district offices, local Area Agencies on Aging, senior centers and state legislators' offices."
Pennsylvania is providing a total of $772.5 million in property tax relief this year, including expanded rebates from the state's Property Tax/Rent Rebate program for seniors and residents with disabilities and general property tax relief for all homeowners that was distributed through school districts this past summer.
"So far, these rebates helped to eliminate school property taxes for about 120,000 residents this year," said Governor Rendell. "I don't want any eligible person to miss out on this help to pay property taxes or rent."
The rebate program benefits income-eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. A 2006 program expansion increased the income limit for homeowners from $15,000 to $35,000 (which excludes half of Social Security income) and raised the maximum standard rebate for homeowners and renters from $500 to $650. The income limit for renters is $15,000.
The program expansion also provides for supplemental property tax rebates of up to $325 - on top of the standard rebates - to homeowners in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Scranton; and to those in other parts of the state who pay more than 15 percent of income on property taxes. The Revenue Department automatically calculates supplemental rebates for qualifying homeowners.
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 p.m., Monday through Friday. Residents requesting forms by mail must call or submit website requests by Tuesday, Dec. 14, to allow sufficient time for mailing. Forms can be downloaded from the website until Dec. 31.
Claimants are reminded to provide all necessary income, property tax or rent information for claims to be processed accurately and quickly. Applications must be postmarked by Friday, Dec. 31, to be considered.
Last year, approximately 592,000 seniors received $277 million in rebates. So far this year, nearly 619,000 people have applied for rebates, and as of Nov. 29 rebates totaling $275 million were sent to 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 adults with disabilities have received $4.5 billion worth of property tax and rent rebates. The expanded portion of the rebate program is being paid for with revenue from slots gaming.
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