Pennsylvania Looks To Temporarily Expand Property Tax Rebates For Seniors and Disabled Residents

Governor Wolf is requesting a one-time expansion that would double property tax rebates for older and disabled Pennsylvanians for 2022.

According to a press release on Friday, June 3, Department of Aging Secretary Robert Torres and Department of Human Services Acting Secretary Meg Snead joined Rep. Patty Kim and community leaders in asking the General Assembly to appropriate $204 million from the American Rescue Plan Act to provide property tax relief to Pennsylvanians by investing in the existing Property Tax Rent Rebate program. If approved, the investment would double existing tax rebates this year for an estimated 466,000 Pennsylvanians who receive an average rebate of $475.

“Older Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly want to age in their homes and communities for as long as they are able. While the Department of Aging provides services and supports to help them achieve this goal, programs like the Department of Revenue’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate offers seniors an additional benefit,” said Secretary Torres. “Many older adults live on fixed incomes and when it comes to their finances, paying their rent or mortgage is a top priority. Governor Wolf’s proposed one time increase in the rebate amount will help seniors to meet some of their needs during these difficult times.”

“Our seniors are the foundation of our communities,” said Rep. Kim. “Seniors navigate their everyday lives on a fixed income, trying to make the best of a post-pandemic world despite rising costs for necessities. This is the reason I’m advocating for the General Assembly to act to make sure federal dollars from the American Rescue Plan can be used for this one-time bonus rebate to help seniors, people with disabilities, widows and widowers.”

“Our seniors and people with disabilities in Pennsylvania deserve the opportunity to live independently and sustain their housing in their communities of choice in the face of rising costs. It is our responsibility to support and build on the successes of programs like the Property Tax/Rent Rebate that make community living possible and sustainable for our neighbors with fixed and moderate incomes,” said DHS Acting Secretary Meg Snead. “Expanding Pennsylvania’s investment in the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program will make a substantial impact in quality of life and dignity for seniors and people with disabilities and provides the breathing room in their budgets to help them live and thrive in our communities across Pennsylvania.”

“Everyone is paying more for nearly everything today – from prescription drugs to gas to housing but, the problem of inflation is hardest for those on fixed incomes,” said AARP Pennsylvania State Director Bill Johnston-Walsh. “The very purpose of the American Rescue Plan Act is to provide flexible, emergency funding for state and local governments to effectively respond to the negative economic impacts created by pandemic. AARP Pennsylvania is pleased to support this critical investment of American Rescue Plan Act dollars to support Property Tax Rent Rebate Program beneficiaries.”

“The governor’s proposal is a simple plan to execute. Claimants won’t have to take any additional action to receive their one-time bonus rebates,” said Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell, who heads the agency that administers the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program. “Claimants should fill out their rebate applications as they normally do, and we will automatically calculate and distribute the additional rebates to them. If anyone needs help with their rebate application, filing assistance is available at the Department of Revenue’s district offices, local Area Agencies on Aging, senior centers and state legislators’ offices.”

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