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Colleges see big drop in foreign-language enrollment; Kentucky advocates say it's time to bury medical debt; Young Farmers in Michigan hope the new farm bill will include key benefits regarding land access.

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The White House presses for supplemental Ukraine aid. Leaders condemn antisemitic attacks during Gaza ceasefire protests. Despite concerns about the next election, one Arizona legal expert says courts generally side with voters and democracy.

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Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

PA Expands Property Tax, Rent Rebate Program to Aid Older Adults

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Thursday, September 14, 2023   

Pennsylvanians will soon see some financial relief with their property taxes and rent.

Gov. Josh Shapiro recently signed House Bill 1100 into law, expanding the state's existing property tax and rent rebate program.

Bill Johnston-Walsh, state director for AARP Pennsylvania, said the expansion of the program will significantly boost property tax rebates for older adults, alleviating the financial burden for homeowners and renters. He said the yearly maximum standard will increase from $650 to $1,000 for individuals.

"This program, and this expansion of this program, which is the first in almost two decades," Johnston-Walsh pointed out. "Both property taxes across the state, and rents have been increasing year after year. And that's why AARP Pennsylvania fought so hard to expand the property tax rebate program."

Johnston-Walsh pointed out the program will be adjusted for cost of living as it moves forward. The Keystone State is home to almost 3.5 million people age 60 and older.

Johnston-Walsh explained the program provides financial relief to those who need it most but also demonstrates a proactive approach to addressing the needs of an aging population.

"The Pennsylvania Legislature and Gov. Shapiro, what they're looking for is how do we keep people in their homes longer?" Johnston-Walsh emphasized. "How do we put more money in their pockets so that, you know, they're able to put food on their table, pay for their medications, and also pay for their property tax and their rents?"

Shapiro and Secretary of Aging Jason Kavulich recently participated in a tele-townhall with AARP to answer questions from older Pennsylvanians about the expansion of the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program.

Johnston-Walsh stressed they want to reach as many Pennsylvanians as possible to advise them of the program.

"To educate people letting them know that this expansion goes from $35,000 a year for homeowners to $45,000 starting in 2024," Johnston-Walsh outlined. "And getting as many people to apply for it as possible, we know that there's going to be nearly 175,000 additional Pennsylvanians that will be eligible for the program next year."

Johnston-Walsh added 400,000 people are already qualified and will get the increase. Pennsylvanian have until Dec. 31 to apply for the program. Area Agencies on Aging, local senior centers and state legislators' offices can also assist.

Disclosure: AARP Pennsylvania contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, Consumer Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families, and Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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