PA officials call for strengthening rental property tax rebate program
Pennsylvania lawmakers and community leaders gathered in Montgomery County on Wednesday, urging the General Assembly to use unspent $204 million US rescue plan funds to help seniors through property taxes and rent reimbursements.
Pennsylvania Rental Property Tax Rebate Program has provided over $7 billion to seniors and people with disabilities for over 50 years.
Rep. Steve Malagari, D-Montgomery, said his older constituents face many financial challenges, including rising prescription drug costs. He pointed out that the increased reimbursement could be a lifeline for them.
“Too many people are struggling to stay home and stay in touch with neighbors they call friends because their property tax bills or rents are rising beyond their control,” Malagari observed. “I know how essential the rental property tax rebate program is in Pennsylvania and how essential it is for the seniors who live here.”
The investment would be a one-time bonus, doubling existing rebates, with approximately 466,000 Pennsylvanians receiving an additional average rebate of $475.
Gazi Razzak has lived in Lansdale for 24 years and benefits from the discount scheme. He said any increase in the program would help, especially for older people like him, who have limited income.
“Right now it’s very difficult because the prices are going up. Food prices are at an all-time high,” Razzak pointed out. “Reimbursement extension support is needed now more than ever.”
Senator Maria Collett, D-Montgomery, introduced Senate Bill 1187, which would create the single premium discount. It was referred to the Urban Affairs and Housing Committee in April.
In Montgomery County, the Property Rent Tax Rebate program benefited more than 13,000 residents who received a total of $6.4 million. Nearly 75% of beneficiaries were aged 65 and over.