HARRISBURG, June 23 – State Sen. Wayne D. Fontana today reminded senior citizens that they now have until December 31 to file for the state’s expanded Property Tax/Rent Rebate (PTRR) Program.

“Gaming revenues have enabled us to significantly expand the benefits and eligibility for PTRR,” Fontana said.  “With this filing deadline extension, I urge seniors to look into whether they are eligible and apply.”

Individuals eligible for the program include Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with permanent disabilities over 18 years of age.

Two years ago, Fontana voted in favor of legislation that more than doubled the income limit for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program from $15,000 to $35,000.  The legislation also raised the maximum rebate for homeowners and renters from $500 to $650.  Applicants can exclude half of their income earned from Social Security, Supplemental Security income, and Railroad Retirement Tier 1 benefits when applying for a rebate. 

Fontana said eligible seniors living in Pittsburgh with incomes under $30,000 will see their property tax rebate increased by an additional 50 percent.  Plus, property tax rebates are increased by an additional 50 percent for senior households in the rest of the state, so long as those households have incomes under $30,000 and pay more than 15 percent of income in property taxes.

Fontana said this additional assistance was inserted into the tax relief legislation because seniors living in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh or Scranton, where local wage/income tax rates are very high, will not benefit from tax shifts approved by voters that are designed to lower taxes on top of the reduction offered by the state funded property tax relief.

Fontana said the PTTR Program will benefit about 600,000 seniors this year compared to 310,000 before the expansion.   He added that school property taxes will be eliminated for approximately 68,000 senior homeowners because, in addition to a rebate, they will receive the general property tax reduction that all homeowners will see itemized on school district property tax bills this summer.

Property Tax/Rent Rebate forms (PA-1000) are available on Fontana’s web site at www.senatorfontana.com or at one of his local district offices at: 930 Brookline Boulevard in Brookline (412) 344-2551; Kenmawr Plaza in Kennedy Township (412) 331-1208; or 1660 Broadway Avenue in Beechview (412) 343-2080.

Fontana said eligible applicants could also sign up for a rebate application at  www.PaPropertyTaxRelief.com  or by calling toll-free at 1-888-222-9190.  

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.

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