HARRISBURG, Pa. (ErieNewsNow) - This January, more Pennsylvanians will be eligible for the state’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. The program provides rebates to over 400,000 seniors, widowers over the age of 50 and disabled individuals who are at least 18. 

“The property tax rebate is pretty much what it sounds like. It's a rebate for property taxes if you're a homeowner, or rent if you're a renter,” said Pennsylvania Treasurer Stacy Garrity. 

Governor Josh Shapiro recently signed legislation expanding the Property Tax Rent Rebate (PTRR) program, which currently has an income limit of $35,000 for homeowners and $15,000 for renters. Half of Social Security income is deducted for the current and new income limits.  

Starting in mid-January 2024, the Department of Revenue will open the filing period for eligible applicants to submit applications for rebates on property taxes and rent paid in 2023. The income limit will increase to $45,000 for both homeowners and renters. The maximum rebate will increase from $650 to $1,000. 

“Which is huge because this mainly helps our seniors that are on fixed incomes,” said Garrity, who oversees PTRR payments, which she says will increase with the program’s expansion. “200,000 more seniors or widowers or people with disabilities will benefit from the expansion,” she added. 

The income caps will be tied to the cost-of-living moving forward, meaning those who receive a rebate won’t lose their eligibility in the future due to no fault of their own.    

Garrity says Treasury is well-equipped for the increased number of payments. Sending payments via check is a team effort that starts with Chason Walchak and the team in the Treasury's printing room. Names and addresses are printed on thousands of checks before they’re divided, stacked and then sent to the mailroom. The mailroom can prepare thousands of checks each hour. Each year, they mail roughly 2.1 million checks. 

The mailroom team operates and oversees a series of machines that prepare the envelopes and insert the checks before they’re gathered for delivery. After that, the next stop is inside the mailboxes of Pennsylvanians who rely on the PTRR program. 

Garrity says it’s important to check to see if you or someone you know is currently eligible, or will be eligible once the program is expanded in January. 

“We all have seniors in our lives that are on a fixed income. What I want everybody to do is contact those seniors and see if they're eligible for the property tax rebate, because right now, inflation is so high, it costs so much money to get groceries, gas is going up,” said Garrity. “This could really help those that are struggling,” she added. 

The application for a rebate is free and assistance is available at hundreds of locations across the state, including Department of Revenue district officeslocal Area Agencies on Aging, senior centers, and state legislators' offices.