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Time to apply for Pa. tax/rent rebate
Now's the time for thousands of low-income residents to apply for the Pennsylvania's Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program.
Applications were made available earlier this month for rebates on property taxes or rent paid in 2015, according to the Department of Revenue.
The program helps offset housing costs incurred by homeowners and renters. Applications must be submitted yearly.
In 2014, 17,519 York County residents received a combined $7.2 million in property tax and rent rebate. The 12,265 county homeowners who applied for the program received a combined $4.3 million and the 5,224 renters received a combined $2.9 million, according to data from the Department of Revenue.
More than $269 million was doled out to 562,000 residents statewide in 2014.
Who can apply: The program is open to residents 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 and older and people with disabilities 18 or older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 for renters, with half of Social Security income excluded.
However, an expansion of the program signed into law in 2014 has upped the income limits until 2016. Some applicants were denied rebates because they had received a Social Security cost-of-living adjustment in 2013, pushing them over the income limits.
New guidelines set the income limits at $36,663 for homeowners who received a rebate in 2014 and $15,713 for renters who received a rebate in 2013.
A homeowner who qualifies can receive $250 to $650, and a qualifying renter can receive $500 to $650, according to the Department of Revenue.
How to apply: While there are businesses that offer help completing the application for a fee, applying is free. Forms and assistance are available free at York area state legislators' offices, the York County Area Agency on Aging and senior centers across the county.
Assistance is also available by calling the Department of Revenue at 1-888-222-9190, between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Forms (PA-1000) and information are available online at revenue.state.pa.us.
The deadline to apply is June 30, with rebates beginning to be distributed on July 1.
— Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.