Pa. House approves bill to expand property tax, rent subsidy for seniors, disabled

The bill passed 194-9 and goes on to the state Senate.

The Capital Building in Harrisburg, Pa.

The Capital Building in Harrisburg, Pa. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives on Monday overwhelmingly approved a bill to increase the state’s property tax and rent subsidy for seniors and people with disabilities, plus raise the income eligibility cap to expand the program.

The bill passed 194-9 and goes on to the state Senate.

This measure seeks to increase the amount of money seniors and those with disabilities receive, and will increase eligibility by increasing the income cap for renters and homeowners to qualify. The program was last updated in 2007.

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The legislation aims to follow through on one of Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro’s budget proposals, increasing the maximum rebate for seniors from $650 to $1,000, plus bumping the income cap to $45,000 for renters and homeowners. Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older are eligible for the rebate program.

Sponsors of the bill said an additional 173,000 people would qualify under the expanded program. Without increasing the income cap, sponsors said that eligibility in the program had dropped from approximately 600,000 people to just around 400,000 this year.

The measure would also include a cost of living adjustment, so that rebate program would be tied to inflation.

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