When the LEVY breaks…

    Many Philadelphians are worried about Mayor Nutter’s proposed property tax hike. His budget would raise that tax by 19 percent, and by 14-point-5 percent over the 2009 rate in Fiscal Year 2011. That has some of the city’s most vulnerable residents especially concerned. But a state program that’s been around since 1971 could help many of them.

    Many Philadelphians are worried about Mayor Nutter’s proposed property tax hike. His budget would raise that tax by 19 percent, and by 14-point-5 percent over the 2009 rate in Fiscal Year 2011. That has some of the city’s most vulnerable residents especially concerned. But a state program that’s been around since 1971 could help many of them.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090424lfsenior.mp3]

    The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program gives money back to eligible residents 65 or older, widows or widowers 50 or older, and disabled people 18 or older.

    Spokesperson Elizabeth Brassell says last year the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue awarded about 580,000 rebates.

    Brassell: The income eligibility requirement for the property tax rent rebate program is $35,000 of annual household income however seniors can discount half of social security income so we have some folks who make significantly more than $35,000 a year.

    The program is funded by the state lottery and slots gambling.

    Brassell says standard rebates go up to $650, but slots revenue has added supplemental rebates of up to $325.

    The deadline to apply is June 30th.

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