Expanded Relief for Seniors

Of all Pennsylvania homeowners, our seniors face the greatest property tax burden, as they live on fixed incomes but are faced with rising property taxes. The passage of the Taxpayer Relief Act is already helping seniors and disabled residents remain in their homes and make ends meet through property tax relief. More seniors than ever before are getting the extra help they need through a major expansion of the state Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program.

An additional 420,000 seniors are eligible to receive help paying their property taxes or rent, and more than 200,000 will have their school property taxes completely eliminated, when statewide property tax relief is delivered to all homeowners from gaming funds.

The income eligibility level for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program has been raised from $15,000 a year to $35,000 a year, excluding half of Social Security income, and the maximum rebate was increased from $500 to $650 for homeowners. Claimants or spouses 65 years of age or older; widows or widowers 50 years of age or older; and the permanently disabled 18 years of age or older may qualify for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program.

 

Homeowners receive:

  Income
$0
$8,001
$15,001
$18,001
  Maximum
$8,000
$15,000
$18,000
$35,000
  Rebate
$650
$500
$300
$250
 
 

Renters will receive:

  Income
$0
$8,001

  Maximum
$8,000
$15,000

  Rebate
$650
$500

 

 

The changes to the rebate program's income limits and maximum rebate went into effect for the 2006 tax year, and the first rebates under the new income eligibility requirements were issued in July 2007.

In addition, the law gives even more tax relief to the seniors in most need:
Seniors who live in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh or Scranton, where local wage/income tax rates are very high, will not benefit from a local tax shift to lower taxes on top of the reduction offered by the state funded property tax relief. To ensure that seniors in these communities receive significant property tax relief, each senior household with income under $30,000 has its property tax rebate increase by an additional 50 percent.

In addition, property tax rebates are increased by an additional 50 percent for senior households in the rest of state, so long as those households have incomes under $30,000 and pay more than 15 percent of income in property taxes. The extra help for seniors in urban school districts and for those who pay more than 15 percent of their income in property taxes will become available when statewide property tax relief is delivered to all homeowners.