Reintroduces Bill Freezing Senior Citizen Property Taxes

Bethlehem – February 16, 2011 – Application forms for rebates on property taxes or rent paid in 2010 are now available in Sen. Lisa Boscola’s local offices.

“With the property tax burden so high, I urge senior citizens to check and see if they qualify for this rebate program,” Boscola said. “My staff and I stand ready to help seniors explore their eligibility and fill out a rebate application.”

Boscola said those who received rebates last year should receive their 2010 application form in the mail. In addition to her local offices, she said applications can also be obtained online at www.revenue.state.pa.us or by calling 1-888-222-9190.

The rebate filing deadline is June 30.

Previously, Boscola voted to increase the income limit for eligible homeowners from $15,000 to $35,000 and also raise the maximum rebate for homeowners and renters from $500 to $650. The expanded portion of the rebate program is funded by revenue from slots gaming. She said more $281 million in property tax and rent rebates were sent to a record 603,098 people statewide last year.

To help seniors cope with rising property taxes, Boscola recently reintroduced legislation that would freeze property taxes for senior citizens who are at least 65-years-old, make less than $65,000 annually and have lived in their current home for at least five years.

“Most seniors are on fixed incomes and do not have the ability to continue paying higher property taxes,” Boscola said. “My bill protects many senior citizens from being taxed out of their home.”

The Property Tax and Rent Rebate Program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters. Half of Social Security income is excluded.

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