Pennsylvania’s Property Tax and Rent Rebate Program provides rebates for eligible Pennsylvanians, age 65 and older, as well as widows and widowers who are age 50 years and older. In addition, those over age 18 with disabilities also qualify.
The number of people on the program has been falling each year since 2009. This is due in large part to Pennsylvania’s failure to update the income limits for those who could be eligible. In addition, the rebate amount has not been adjusted for inflation in recent years. Therefore, the value of the rebate has been shrinking compared to average household expenses.
Recently, Governor Shapiro signed legislation (Act 7 of 2023) that expands eligibility for the Property Tax and Rent Rebate Program. Starting in mid-January 2024, the new eligibility rules will be as follows:
1. The maximum rebate has now increased from $650 to $1000. In addition, all of the rebates at the various income levels have increased:
Household Income Rebate
For those in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Scranton, there is additional relief due to the high property taxes. Those households with incomes under $30,000 can get an additional property tax rebate increase of 50%. In the rest of the state, those with household incomes under $30,000 and pay more than 15% of income in property taxes can also have an additional property tax rebate of 50%.
2. The income cap for renters and homeowners has increased to $45,000, up $10,000 from the prior cap.
3. Going forward, the income caps will be tied to the cost of living, so increases in Social Security will not cause otherwise eligible individuals to lose their rebate.
The estimates are that an additional 175,000 people will be eligible for the program in light of these changes. About 86% of the 430,000 people already on the program will see their benefits increase.
You can apply online at mypath.pa.gov or file a paper application. Those already on the program will receive a new application in mid-January 2024. Visit revenue.pa.gov for more information.
Matthew J. Parker, Esq. is an attorney at the law firm of Marshall, Parker & Weber, LLC with offices in Williamsport, Jersey Shore and Plains. For more information visit www.paelderlaw.com or call 1-800-401-4552.