Property Tax Rebate

This year, you may be eligible for a rebate on your property taxes, even if you don’t own taxable real estate-but you must act quickly to collect the rebate. What will surprise you the most is that you don’t have to own real estate to receive a rebate. Renters and homeowners are eligible for the property tax relief. If you paid property taxes or paid rent in 2008 and you are age 65 or older, or you are a widow or widower age 50 or older, or you are age 18 or older and qualify as disabled, you may be eligible for a property tax rebate in 2009. With the advent of legalized gambling in Pennsylvania, a real estate property tax rebate program was established in 2006 to provide tax relief in the form of rebates to senior citizens, widows/widowers, and some disabled persons. The funds for the rebates come from gambling and lottery revenues. The Department of Revenue recently disclosed that over 100,000 eligible taxpayers did not request their rebates in 2008. Are you one of them? If so, don’t let it happen again this year.

Previously, only applicants with annual household incomes up to $15,000 were eligible, but starting in 2008, homeowner applicants with incomes up to $35,000 became eligible. The maximum income for renters is still $15,000 annually. Because increased gambling revenues may trigger another expansion of the program, watch the news and check for changes this year-the household income threshold could be increased once again.

All applicants may exclude one‑half of their Social Security income in their efforts to meet the income guidelines. The maximum rebate for homeowners is $650, and the maximum rebate for renters is $500. The rebates are not automatic-eligible homeowners and renters must apply in writing to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue by filling out a simple form. The deadline to apply for a rebate for 2008 property taxes is June 30, 2009. Applications must be postmarked no later than that date to be considered. Don’t wait-last year, the deadline was extended to December 31, but there is no guarantee that the deadline will be extended this year.

Eligible homeowners and renters can apply online. Simply go to To receive an application by mail, call 1‑888‑222‑9190. Don’t delay another day!

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