Governor Shapiro's expansion of the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program delivered the largest targeted tax cut for seniors in nearly two decades, expanding access to nearly 175,000 more Pennsylvanians and increasing maximum rebate from $650 to $1000.
Governor Shapiro continues to deliver on his promise to cut costs and deliver real relief for Pennsylvanians.
Bethlehem, PA — Today, Governor Josh Shapiro traveled to the Litzenberger House, a senior apartment complex in Bethlehem, Northampton County, to announce that hundreds of thousands of older adults and Pennsylvanians with disabilities are now eligible to apply for a rebate up to $1,000 through the Property Tax/Rent Rebate (PTRR) program. The maximum standard rebate is now $1,000 (up from $650) thanks to bipartisan legislation Governor Shapiro championed and signed into law last year, delivering on his promise to cut costs and deliver real relief for Pennsylvania seniors.
The Governor, Congresswoman Susan Wild, state Rep. Steve Samuelson, Secretary of Revenue Pat Browne, and Secretary of Aging Jason Kavulich also stressed to applicants that the program's income limits have been increased to $45,000 and made equal for both homeowners and renters — the first time since 2006 the income limits have been raised. This change makes nearly 175,000 additional Pennsylvanians eligible for the PTRR program.
"I've traveled all across the Commonwealth, and I've heard firsthand from seniors who told me we need to do more to help them keep up with rising prices, "said Governor Josh Shapiro. "Whether it's in the Lehigh Valley or out in Erie, rising costs are affecting Pennsylvanians in every corner of our state – and I promised that my Administration would lead the way to cut costs and put money back in your pockets. The Property Tax/Rent Rebate program has long been a lifeline for our seniors – especially those on a fixed income – and that's why my Administration brought together folks on both sides of the aisle to expand this tax rebate to an additional 175,000 Pennsylvanians. This is what it looks like when we work together to put partisanship aside and get stuff done for Pennsylvania."
Governor Shapiro encouraged all eligible applicants to use myPATH, the Department of Revenue's online filing system, to apply for rebates on property taxes and rent paid during 2023 as the PTRR filing period opens today. There is also a Spanish version of the online application available for the first time this year.
During today's visit, the Governor also explained the PTRR program's income limits will now be tied to the cost-of-living, meaning that people won't be priced out of the program in the future as they have been in recent years. This will be an important change for a program that at one point annually delivered more than 600,000 rebates to applicants across the Commonwealth but has only benefitted roughly 430,000 applicants in recent years because the income limits remained unchanged for so long.
"We increased the income limits for the first time in 17 years and we are providing larger maximum rebates for those who qualify," said Rep. Steve Samuelson, prime sponsor of the legislation which expanded the PTRR. "More than 170,000 additional people now qualify for this vital program. The expansion of the PTRR helps homeowners and renters all across Pennsylvania. I want to thank Governor Shapiro, who has made helping seniors a priority of his Administration."
"Too many Pennsylvania seniors and persons with disabilities are faced with the threat of losing their home because of property tax increases," said Senator Lisa Boscola. "It was critical that the state, through House Bill 1100, increased the maximum rebates, increased income limits and provides an annual COLA on the income limits so Social Security COLA's can no longer make a deserving homeowner or renter ineligible for much needed help."
"I've long fought to help lower costs for our seniors and protect the benefits they've earned after a lifetime of hard work," said Congresswoman Susan Wild. "From protecting Social Security and Medicare, to lowering health care costs and securing investments in our community, I look forward to continuing to work with my partners in the state and local government to make life easier for older Pennsylvanians. I applaud the Governor for expanding this critical program for our seniors."
The PTRR program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The table below shows how much homeowners and renters who fit this criteria are eligible for, depending on their income:
|MAX STANDARD REBATE
|$0 - $8000
|$8,001 - $15,000
|$15,001 - $18,000
|$18,001 - $45,000
"The Department of Aging appreciates the long overdue updates to PTRR finally becoming reality. We have learned from many older adults and our aging network partners across the Commonwealth during our listening sessions for our master plan, Aging Our Way, PA, that affordable housing remains our biggest concern. Older adults have worked hard their entire lives and deserve to remain in their homes and communities with dignity for as long as they are able," said Secretary of Aging Jason Kavulich. "We hope older adults, both eligible and newly eligible, will take advantage of this program to help ease the burden of paying mortgage or rent while putting money back into their pockets."
How to Apply
Submitting your application through myPATH is easy and does not require you to sign up for an account. Filing online gives you instant confirmation that your claim has been successfully filed. Applicants also will have access to automatic calculators and other helpful features that are not available through the paper application.
"We encourage all Pennsylvanians who are eligible for this program to apply — and to do so by filing online through myPATH," said Secretary of Revenue Pat Browne. "With each passing year, we are seeing more and more applicants take advantage of the online filing option. Not only does filing online help ensure the accuracy of the information on your application, but it also helps our agency process applications as quickly as possible."
It's free to apply for a rebate and assistance is available at hundreds of locations across the state: Department of Revenue district offices, local Area Agencies on Aging, senior centers, and state legislators' offices. You must reapply for rebates every year as they are based on annual income and property taxes or rent paid during the prior year.
About the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program
Rebates will be distributed beginning July 1, 2024, as required by law. New or first-time filers should anticipate that it will take additional time to review their applications and process their rebates. The deadline to apply is June 30, 2024. For more information and to access forms/instructions, visit revenue.pa.gov/ptrr or call 1-888-222-9190 for assistance.
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.
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