Governor Shapiro Proposes First Update in 17 Years to Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program

Harrisburg, PA – Yesterday, Governor Josh Shapiro visited the West Shore Senior Center in New Cumberland to draw attention to his proposed expansion of the Property Tax/Rent Rebate (PTRR) program. The governor’s plan aims to update the program, which has not seen any changes for 17 years, in order to provide support for Pennsylvania seniors, renters, and homeowners facing inflation and rising costs.

Under Governor Shapiro’s budget proposal, the maximum rebate for seniors would increase from $650 to $1,000. Additionally, the income cap for renters and homeowners would be raised to $45,000 per year, with adjustments tied to increases in the cost of living. These changes would make nearly 175,000 more Pennsylvanians eligible for the PTRR program, including an estimated 5,000 individuals in Cumberland and Dauphin counties. Furthermore, the approximately 400,000 people who already qualify would see their rebates nearly double.

Diane Salerno, a member of the West Shore Senior Center, expressed her surprise at the lack of cost-of-living increases for seniors over the past two decades and renters over the past 35 years. She praised Governor Shapiro for recognizing the importance of not overlooking or pushing seniors to the corner and commended his commitment to ensuring their needs are addressed.

Alicia Titus, Senior Vice President of Messiah Lifeways, emphasized the significance of allowing older adults the choice to age in their own homes. She appreciated Governor Shapiro’s investment in programs and policies that promote affordable housing for older Pennsylvanians, including the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program.

Sally Bishop, a renter from New Cumberland, shared her perspective on the proposed income eligibility limit increase to $45,000. Currently, she earns slightly above the limit, making her ineligible for the program. Bishop explained that the rebate would be valuable for emergencies, such as car repairs, as she struggles to cover unexpected expenses on her limited income.

Sally Biller, Bishop’s 76-year-old neighbor, is one of the 400,000 Pennsylvanians currently benefiting from the PTRR program. She highlighted how the rebate has provided her with financial flexibility to manage her grocery bills and medical expenses. However, due to an increase in her Social Security benefits this year, Biller no longer qualifies for the rebate.

Governor Shapiro’s proposed updates to the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program aim to alleviate the financial burdens faced by Pennsylvania seniors, renters, and homeowners. By modernizing the program and expanding eligibility, the governor seeks to ensure that older adults have the opportunity to age comfortably in their own homes.

By Joshi

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