Governor Shapiro's plan delivers the largest targeted tax cut for Pennsylvania seniors in nearly two decades.
Harrisburg, PA – Governor Josh Shapiro and Secretary of Aging Jason Kavulich today joined AARP Pennsylvania for a tele-townhall to answer questions from older Pennsylvanians in real-time about the expansion of the Property Tax/Rent Rebate (PTRR) program. Governor Shapiro recently signed the historic expansion of the program into law, helping to put more money into the pockets of thousands of older Pennsylvanians starting next year.
Under the expansion proposed by the Governor – the first for the program since 2006 – nearly 175,000 additional Pennsylvanians will be eligible for the program, with rebates nearly doubling for many of the 400,000 people who already qualify. The maximum rebate for seniors also increases from $650 to $1,000, with the income cap for renters and homeowners both increasing to $45,000 and tied to the cost of living so seniors don't lose out on PTRR benefits through no fault of their own.
"I made a commitment to older Pennsylvanians when I was campaigning to be Governor and then again once I became Governor in my budget address that we would address the challenges our seniors have with rising costs," said Governor Josh Shapiro. "I made that commitment – and we delivered on it in a bipartisan manner. We passed the largest targeted tax cut for seniors in nearly two decades. We're putting more money in seniors' pockets so they can get the help they need to age with dignity."
"Today is a historic moment for older Pennsylvanians and I'm proud to be part of a team of individuals that has taken the rhetoric and made it a reality and that in seven months' time, we've seen historic investments in older adult services," said Secretary of Aging Jason Kavulich. "The property tax and rent rebate is huge. This year – along with the other historically, historic investments in older adult services that the Governor spoke about – is just the beginning of making sure that every older Pennsylvanian has the ability to age in place safely with dignity and respect in the communities that they love."
During today's tele-townhall, Governor Shapiro and Secretary Kavulich joined AARP Pennsylvania's state director Bill Johnston Walsh to answer questions from older Pennsylvanians, ranging from who qualifies for the PTRR program to why the Governor made this expansion a priority in his first seven months in office.
Governor Shapiro outlined his plans to expand the PTRR program during his campaign and in his inaugural budget address in March, and his signing of the bill delivers on the commitment he made to Pennsylvania seniors to ease the burden of rising costs.
The core mission of AARP is to empower people to choose how they live as they age, and a crucial aspect of this choice is deciding where to reside. The PTRR expansion will help many seniors pay utility bills, buy groceries, and live more comfortably in their chosen home.
"As property taxes across the state have increased, rents have increased as well. That's why AARP Pennsylvania fought for expanding the state's Property Tax/Rent Rebate program that benefits both homeowners and renters," said AARP Pennsylvania State Director Bill Johnston-Walsh. "Before even taking office seven months ago, Pennsylvania's 48th Governor Josh Shapiro recognized that older Pennsylvanians want to age in their homes and communities, and he has committed himself and his Administration to modernizing Pennsylvania's Property Tax/Rent Rebate program. Throughout his campaign and in his first budget address, he called for a historic expansion of the state's Property Tax/Rent Rebate program, and with bipartisan support, he kept his promise and just delivered the largest targeted tax cuts for older Pennsylvanians in nearly two decades."
Under the program's expansion, eligibility criteria will stay the same, meaning the program will continue to benefit eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older.
The process, timeline, and filing systems that are already in place will continue to remain the same. The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue will release detailed information on the filing process prior to the next claim season opening in January 2024. Information will also be updated on revenue.pa.gov/ptrr early next year.
About the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program
Since its inception in 1971, the PTRR program has delivered more than $8 billion in property tax and rent relief to some of Pennsylvania's most vulnerable residents. The PTRR program is supported by the Pennsylvania Lottery and receives funding from gaming.
It's free to apply for a rebate, and applicants are reminded that free assistance is available at hundreds of locations across the state, including Department of Revenue district offices, local Area Agencies on Aging, senior centers, and state legislators' offices.
As a reminder, applicants must reapply for rebates every year because rebates are based on annual income and property taxes or rent paid in each year. Any person who filed for a 2022 Property Tax/Rent Rebate by paper will automatically be mailed a paper instruction booklet/application form.