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Property tax rebates distributed to older Pennsylvanians, adults with disabilities

Several Pennsylvania homeowners have already received property tax rebates this month, the first of $211 million worth of relief distributed through the property tax/rent rebate program.

Rebate checks began to be mailed on July 1, the Department of Revenue announced, while those who chose direct deposit received their rebates at the beginning of the month. The program, which benefits older Pennsylvanians, is funded through the Pennsylvania Lottery and slots gambling.

Residents age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older are eligible for the rebates. According to the Department of Revenue, homeowners must make $35,000 a year or less to qualify for the program. For renters, the limit is $15,000. Half of Social Security income is excluded.

The maximum standard rebate is $650 for homeowners or renters who make $8,000 or less. The rebates can increase by another 50 percent given the homeowner also has an income less than $30,000 and pays more than 15 percent of income in property taxes.

The property tax/rent rebate program, instituted in 1971, has distributed more than $6.1 billion in rebates to older homeowners and adults with disabilities, according to the Department of Revenue.

The deadline to apply for a rebate is Dec. 31. Claim forms can be found at revenue.pa.gov, and the application is free.

Roger Van Scyoc: 814-231-4698, @rogervanscy

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