Senior citizens have until December 31 to apply for property tax/rent rebates
Senior citizens eligible for the state's property tax/rent rebate program have until December 31 to apply for a rebate check.
Only an estimated 61 percent of eligible senior citizens have applied for the rebate program statewide.
State Sen. Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) said that in Allegheny County only 36,089 of 54,965 (65.7 percent) eligible senior citizens have applied for the rebates that range from $250 to $650 depending on income. The rebate checks are based on property taxes or rent paid during 2006.
Those 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.
State Senator Wayne D. Fontana reminded senior citizens that both eligibility and the benefit amounts have been expanded thanks to Act 1 of 2006 that taps revenue from Pennsylvania's slots casinos for property tax relief. Rebates will now range from $250 to $650 depending on income levels.
The eligibility criterion includes:
• Those seniors earning $35,000 a year or less and who own a home are eligible for a rebate. And seniors only count one half of Social Security payments toward that income threshold. The cut-off point used to be $15,000.
• You must be a Pennsylvania resident homeowner age 65 or older, or be a widow or widower 50 years of age or older, or you must be permanently disabled or medically unable to work.
• Renters who meet the age requirements and who make less than $15,000 per year can also get a rebate.
To receive a free PTRR application, senior citizens can call toll-free at 1-888-222-9190 or register online at http://www.papropertytaxrelief.com
Citizens may also contact Sen. Costa's Carrick office 412- 488-6102 or Sen. Fontana's local offices in Brookline 412-344-2551, or Beechview 412-343-2080 for assistance.