Tax Breaks for Senior Citizens in Pennsylvania

New gaming licenses just reduced all Pennsylvania homeowners' property taxes.

Pennsylvania's resident senior citizens may be eligible for a variety of programs that will reduce their tax burden. The Property Tax and Rent Rebate program helps eligible older Pennsylvanians to afford their homes; other programs, while not strictly tax-related, assist with necessary expenses such as food.


Who Qualifies

Taxpayers or their spouses older than age 65, plus widows and widowers older than 50, may be eligible for the Property Tax and Rent Rebate Program. If the applicant is a homeowner who earns $35,000 per year or less--excluding half of his Social Security benefit--he may earn a rebate of up to $650. Senior renters can earn $650 in rebates with incomes not to exceed $8,000, or $500 with incomes of up to $15,000.


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Additional Rebates

Senior residents of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Scranton face difficult tax burdens due to high local income tax rates. Under the Rebate Program, seniors who live in these cities can receive property tax rebates of an additional 50 percent as long as their annual household income is less than $30,000. Senior citizens statewide who pay property taxes in excess of 15 percent of their income will also receive an extra 50 percent rebate, provided the household income is less than $30,000.


Tax Relief for All Pennsylvanians

Pennsylvania residents' 2011-2012 school tax bills will be reduced by $612 million statewide, thanks to slot gamblers at state casinos.The tax break is automatic and residents don't have to apply. The tax break will average $150 per household, although it ranges from $52 at the low end to more than $400. Pennsylvania seniors who qualify for the rebate program will enjoy this break in addition to the Rebate Program.


The Senior Food Nutrition Program

Pennsylvania has established a Department of Aging to address the needs and concerns of older Pennsylvania residents. The Department's Senior Food Nutrition Program benefits seniors who are 60 or older by Dec. 31, 2011. Seniors can apply for vouchers that pay for fresh fruits and vegetables from farm stands and markets. The vouchers total $20, and can be obtained by contacting the local aging agency.