AARP Eye Center
Recently, Governor Shapiro signed two significant bills - House Bill 1100 (Act 7 of 2023) and House Bill 611 (Act 1A of 2023). AARP Pennsylvania celebrates these legislative actions, which will bolster the well-being of older homeowners and renters, helping them stay in their homes and communities.
The core mission of AARP is to empower people to choose how they live as they age, and a crucial aspect of this choice is deciding where to reside. However, Pennsylvania’s above-average property tax burden has made it difficult for many older residents, especially those with low to fixed incomes, to afford their homes.
The state did not modernize its property tax rent rebate program for years. But with the passage of HB 1100 and enactment of Act 7 of 2023, many more older and disabled residents will benefit from an expanded version of this program, which received AARP's endorsement.
Starting in 2024, an estimated 173,000 new households will be eligible for this program, and around 400,000 current beneficiaries will see an increase in their rebates. To keep pace with inflation, income limits will be adjusted annually.
The income threshold for homeowners and renters will be $45,000, with a maximum rebate of $1,000, increased from $650. AARP appreciates the efforts of House Finance Committee Chairperson Steve Samuelson, the prime sponsor of HB 1100, who ensured its passage with strong bipartisan backing.
Furthermore, with the enactment of Act 1A of 2023, Pennsylvania has allocated $5 million to support the state’s area agencies on aging (AAAs).
This essential funding will aid local AAAs in offering in-home assistance to 1,200 elderly residents, helping them stay in their homes instead of institutional care settings.
In addition to this, the budget bill provides another $1 million to the PA Department of Aging. These funds will support grants enabling senior community centers to upgrade safety, infrastructure, and technology, ensuring older residents have safe gathering places.
While these are commendable steps, AARP encourages Pennsylvania to continue its efforts to address the needs of its growing elderly population. AARP recommends additional measures to tackle high prescription drug costs, establish a retirement savings program, support family caregivers, protect consumers from scams, and invest in in-home care.
To learn more about the Property Tax Rent Rebate Program, contact the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue at 1-888-222-9190 or visit their website.
The Property or Tax Rent Rebate application deadlines have been extended to December 31, 2023. To file online, click here. To download a paper copy, click here. Free Assistance is available at hundreds of locations across the state, including Department of Revenue district offices, local Area Agencies on Aging, and local state legislators’ offices.
To learn more about the services and supports available in your community, your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) is staffed with skilled workers who can provide information and help with obtaining those services. Find your local resources here and access Pennsylvania’s Benefits and Rights Book here.