Gov. Shapiro Signs Bill Expanding PA's Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program | WDIY Local News
A new bill signed into law by Gov. Josh Shapiro, and championed by a Lehigh Valley lawmaker, will increase rebates for tens of thousands of Pennsylvania seniors.
Shapiro signed House Bill 1100 into law in Scranton on Friday, expanding the state’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program to nearly 175,000 more Pennsylvanians.
The bill’s primary sponsor, State. Rep. Steve Samuelson of Northampton County, said the signing of HB 1100 and the expansion of the program was a “momentous occasion.”
“We are increasing the income limits for the first time in 17 years, and we are providing larger rebates for those who qualify,” he said.
According to Shapiro’s office the expansion raises the maximum rebate for seniors from $650 to $1,000, increases the income cap to $45,000 for renters and homeowners, and ties the cap to increases in the cost of living.
The release said some of the 400,000 Pennsylvanians already qualified in the program could see their rebates potentially double.
“This bill helps seniors, this bill helps people under the age of 65 with disabilities, this bill helps renters, this bill helps homeowners,” Samuelson said, “and as you can see, we are helping our seniors stay in their homes.
Samuelson said the bill received overwhelming, bipartisan support in both the state House and state Senate, and thanked the HB 1100’s primary co-sponsors, State Reps. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin/Cumberland, Ismail Smith-Wade-El, D-Lancaster, Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, and Maureen Madden, D-Monroe.
He said Shapiro has made seniors a priority of his administration, and the Property Tax/Rent Rebate expansion a focus of his first budget proposal.
“He also has made sure that the expansion of the property tax/rent rebate was going to happen in year one,” Samuelson said.
Both Samuelson and Shapiro also thanked House Speaker Joanna McClinton, D-Philadelphia for her leadership, and for ensuring the bill was put on the floor for consideration.
Shapiro called the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program a lifeline but said it has not been updated since 2006. He said he has met with seniors across Pennsylvania and heard about their struggles with rising prices, and Shapiro said the new expansion will provide them with the proper relief.
“Hear me on this, this is the largest targeted tax cut for seniors in nearly two decades in Pennsylvanian, and we got it done,” Shapiro said to audience applause. “We got it done.”
Like Samuelson, Shapiro also spoke about the bipartisan support for the bill and said the program’s expansion was a sign of what happens when government works together to “actually get stuff done,” even in “hyper-polarized, hyper-partisan times.”
“This is how government is supposed to work, and this is what happens when we set partisanship aside and we come up with commonsense solutions to the most pressing problems of today.”
Applications for the expanded program will open on Jan. 1.
Shapiro also said his recently-signed state budget takes several additional steps to support seniors. These include increasing funding for the OPTIONS program, to reduce waitlist for seniors and services to allow them to stay in their homes, as well as additional investment in senior community centers.
“Together, we’re going to make sure seniors get to live out their golden years with dignity and stay in the homes that they built, and enjoy the wonderful friends and family in their communities,” Shapiro said.
(Original air-date: 8/9/23)