How to Apply for a Pa. Property Tax Rebate or Rent Refund | News, Sports, Jobs


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HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania’s Rent and Property Tax Rebate Program — which helps elderly and disabled residents offset the rising cost of housing — received a large, one-time increase this year as part of the state budget. State.

But as Spotlight PA reported in a new survey, fewer people are receiving rent and property tax refunds each year, largely because state lawmakers haven’t raised income limits. to qualify for over 15 years.

Yet many people who could benefit from it are absent because they are unaware of the program. State officials estimate that about one-third of eligible Pennsylvanians do not apply each year.

Spotlight PA has collected some

common questions about how the rent and property tax rebate program works, who is eligible and how this year’s bonuses will work.

How do I know if I am eligible?

If you’re 65 or older, or if you’re receiving disability benefits and paid rent or property taxes last year, you qualify if you meet the income requirements.

The income limit is $35,000 per household for owners and $15,000 per household for renters. If you receive Social Security benefits, the state only counts half of them towards the income limit. (Some veterans’ benefits are not counted at all.)

You may also be eligible if you are widowed or widowed and over the age of 50. More detailed information is available from the state Department of Revenue, which administers the program.

One thing to keep in mind: the income limit does not change depending on the number of people in your household. If you are married and living together, your combined income and that of your spouse must still be at or below the threshold to qualify.

If you think you are eligible, contact your state legislator’s office, a regional office of the state Department of Revenue, your county’s Regional Agency on Aging, or a local senior center. No one should charge you a fee to let you know if you qualify or help you apply.

How much can I get?

The exact amount depends on your income, whether you rent or own, and the state in which you live. You can find a breakdown here. Normally, the maximum rebate you can receive is $650, although homeowners in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Scranton may get additional rebates due to how those cities structure their local taxes. Some older homeowners may also receive a supplement if they pay a large portion of their income in property taxes.

Is there extra money?

available this year?

Yes! In July, state lawmakers approved a one-time increase to this year’s rebates, so recipients will receive their usual amount plus 70%. So if you normally get $650, this year you’ll get that plus $455, for a total of $1,105.

How can I get the bonus?

If you have already submitted your application for this year, you do not have to do anything else. One-time bonuses will be paid automatically, according to the Department of Revenue.

If you haven’t submitted an application for 2021 yet, it’s not too late. You have until the end of the year. The department encourages you to apply online.

And if I’m late on

my property taxes?

Since refunds technically refund some of the payments you’ve already made, you must be current on your property tax payments to qualify.

Why can’t we just eliminate property taxes altogether?

It’s a long story. More than once, state legislators have tried to push through sweeping changes to Pennsylvania’s property tax system, but have struggled to reach a consensus. That’s partly because finding ways to replace property tax revenue would require tough trade-offs, like raising income taxes or subjecting things like clothing and other household items to sales tax.

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