More time to apply for Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program

For those who are eligible for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program but have yet to apply, there’s some good news:  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 the offices of your state representatives, including Senator Jim Ferlo (3519 Butler Street, or call 412.621.3006) and Adam Ravenstahl (3689 California Ave, or call 412.321.5523.

It’s been reported that a firm has been soliciting Pennsylvania residents, offering to complete the form for a fee.  In fact, there is no need to pay to have this form completed.

You can also obtain a Property Tax/Rent Rebate claim form online, by calling, toll free, 1-888-222-9190, or at local area agencies on aging and senior centers, or at the PHCA office

Those who have already applied for a rebate can check the status of their claim online at 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.