PITTSBURGH, March 25, 2010 – State Senator Wayne D. Fontana (D-Allegheny) today reminded people eligible for the Property Tax and Rent Rebate Program that he and his local office staff stand ready to assist people for free. A mailer sent out locally offers to help senior citizens apply for their state rebate for a fee of $39.

“While it may not be illegal to charge people to help them apply for a rebate, I want to remind seniors and others that there is no need to pay for such a service because my office and other state government entities stand ready to provide that help – for free,” Fontana said.

The Property Tax and Rent Rebate program benefits Pennsylvanians who are 65 years old and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older.

Fontana said eligible seniors living in Pittsburgh with incomes under $30,000, and those in other parts of the state who pay more than 15 percent of their income on property taxes, are eligible for a supplemental property tax rebate of up to $325, on top of standard rebates.

Fontana said he and his local district office staff stand ready to help constituents determine if they are eligible, and assist residents in completing and filing their rebate application. For assistance or to obtain an application, contact any of the Senator’s District Offices:

  • 930 Brookline Blvd. in Brookline (412) 344-2551;
  • Kenmawr Plaza, 524 Pine Hollow Rd. in Kennedy Township (412) 331-1208; and
  • 1660 Broadway Ave. in Beechview (412) 343-2080

Forms can also be found online at www.PaPropertyTaxRelief.com or by calling 1-888-222-9190.

Claimants who already applied for Property Tax/Rent Rebates may check the status of their claim online at www.PaPropertyTaxRelief.com or by calling, toll-free, 1-888-PATAXES.

“I’m always leery about so-called services that charge people for something that is readily available free of charge,” Fontana said. “While I do not know about the legitimacy of these kinds of services, I have alerted the Attorney General’s office to look into the matter.

“Still, I think the bottom line here is for folks to understand that it is not necessary to pay for something that is free.”