Ciresi introduces legislation to expand Property Tax and Rent Rebate program
HARRISBURG, June 30 – To address the impact of rising inflation and high property taxes, state Rep. Joe Ciresi, D-Montgomery, today introduced legislation (H.B. 2721) that would significantly expand the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, which provides relief to certain financially vulnerable Pennsylvanians, including seniors.
“Pennsylvania residents are struggling to afford basic necessities, including housing, due to rising inflation,” Ciresi said. “While inflation has risen, the Property Tax Rent Rebate Program’s stagnant income limits have prevented increasing numbers of individuals from accessing this critical lifeline. My legislation will update income requirements and other provisions of the PTRR so more individuals in need can receive assistance and property tax relief from this vital program.”
The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians 65 or older, widows or widowers 50 or older, and people with disabilities 18 and older. The current income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters. Half of Social Security income is excluded.
The maximum standard rebate is $650, but supplemental rebates for qualifying homeowners can boost rebates to $975.
Ciresi’s legislation would expand PTRR by:
- Increasing income limits for homeowners and renters to $50,000 and $25,000, respectively, recognizing the impact inflation has had since the last increase in 2008.
- Permanently reinstating a provision that would ensure individuals are not deemed ineligible for PTRR solely due to cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security. The previous Social Security COLA moratorium created by Act 156 of 2014 expired on December 31, 2016.
- Allowing individuals to deduct the face amount of property taxes paid when determining income for PTRR, helping homeowners in areas with higher property taxes. This bill was also previously introduced separately by Ciresi as H.B. 190.
- Allowing more homeowners to qualify for supplemental rebates by opening them up to any property tax rebate recipient whose property taxes exceed 15% of their income, eliminating the $30,000 income cap.
“The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program is a great resource to many Pennsylvanians, but it’s in need of an update because too many people are getting left behind at this critical hour,” Ciresi said. “If passed, my legislation would make more Pennsylvanians eligible for this important relief, give existing rebate recipients more support in these critical times, and make sure that more seniors don’t end up needlessly losing eligibility for this program in the future. With the Pennsylvania Lottery continuing to post record profits, it’s time to give more money back to our residents to keep them in their homes.”
The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program is one of five programs supported by the Pennsylvania Lottery. Since the program’s 1971 inception, older and disabled adults have received more than $7.3 billion in property tax and rent relief. The rebate program also receives funding from slots gaming.
More information is available by calling Ciresi’s office at 484-200-8265