Local residents have extra time to apply for funds through the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program.
The state Department of Revenue announced Monday[eya: June 4: ] that the program's application deadline has been extended from June 30 to Dec. 31.
The program benefits Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and over; and people with disabilities who are least 18 years old.
The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters. People who receive Social Security should count only half of that income toward the income limit, the department said.
The program provides rebates on property taxes or rent paid in claim year 2011.
The maximum rebate people can receive is $650, though supplemental rebates for qualifying homeowners can increase rebates to $975.
The state will issue the first round of checks on July 1. After June 30, rebates will be distributed as claims are received and processed, according to the revenue department.
Rebate applications are available at senior centers, public libraries, the York County Area Agency on Aging and state legislators' offices, as well as online at www.revenue.state.pa.us.
Elizabeth Brassell, the department's spokeswoman, said the application deadline has been extended annually in recent years, as the department determines that money is available to help more residents.
As of May 31, the department received 529,023 applications, the department reports.
More than 600,000 are expected to apply for rebates this year, Brassell said.
For the 2010 claim year, more than 604,375 state residents, received more than $284.43 million in rebates. The average rebate amounts were about $438 for homeowners and $537 for renters.
In York County for that same year, there were a total 18,813 claimants who received more than $8.99 million in rebates. The average rebates were about $448 for 13,512 homeowners and $552 for 5,301 renters, according to the department.
The Property Tax/Rebate Program is supported by the Pennsylvania Lottery. The program has issued more than $5 billion in rebates since its inception in 1971.
The Property Tax/Rent Rebate applications are available at senior centers, public libraries, the York County Area Agency on Aging and state legislators offices. Forms also are available on the state Department of Revenue's website at www.revenue.state.pa.us.
The new deadline to return the form is Dec. 31, 2012.
For information, call the state's Department of Revenue at 1-888-222-9190 or visit its website.