William O'Boyle: Pennsylvanians can file property tax/rent rebate applications online

·7 min read

Jan. 23—Older and disabled Pennsylvanians can now apply for rebates on property taxes or rent paid in 2021, the Department of Revenue announced this week.

This assistance is available through the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, which has delivered more than $7.1 billion to eligible Pennsylvanians since the program's inception in 1971.

Eligible applicants are encouraged to visit mypath.pa.gov to electronically submit their applications. The Department of Revenue launched this online option last year to make it easier for the nearly 500,000 Pennsylvanians who annually benefit from the program to submit their applications.

"Last year, we saw thousands of eligible residents take advantage of the easy-to-use myPATH filing option to submit their rebate applications," said Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell. "Filing online saves you a trip to the mailbox and the costs of mailing in a paper application. If you know anyone who might be eligible, please encourage them to visit mypath.pa.gov to fill out an application. We want to do everything that we can to ensure that everyone who is eligible receives this vital assistance."

How to apply

After checking eligibility requirements, you can file your rebate application online by visiting mypath.pa.gov. Submitting your application through myPATH is easy and does not require you to sign up for an account.

Applicants will be asked to provide specific information on their income and rent/property taxes. Applicants should check the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program instruction booklet to learn which information they will need to input/upload to complete the process.

Using the electronic option available through mypath.pa.gov offers many benefits, including:

—Fast processing and direct deposit options.

—The Where's My Rebate? tool to track the status of a claim online.

—Error-reducing automatic calculators.

—Instant confirmation that your application has been filed.

—Security features to ensure your sensitive information is safe.

Applicants must reapply for rebates every year because rebates are based on annual income and property taxes or rent paid in each year. Spouses, personal representatives or estates may file rebate claims on behalf of claimants who lived at least one day in 2021 and meet all other eligibility criteria.

Applicants who still wish to file a paper application form may obtain Property Tax/Rent Rebate claim forms (PA-1000) and related information on the Department of Revenue's website or by calling — 1-888-222-9190.

It's free to apply for a rebate, and applicants are reminded that free assistance is available at hundreds of locations across the state, including Department of Revenue district offices, local Area Agencies on Aging, senior centers and state legislators' offices.

Rebates will be distributed beginning July 1, as required by law.

About the program

The rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters, and half of Social Security income is excluded.

The maximum standard rebate is $650, but supplemental rebates for certain qualifying homeowners can boost rebates to $975. The Department of Revenue automatically calculates supplemental rebates for qualifying homeowners.

Since its inception in 1971, the program has delivered more than $7.1 billion to eligible Pennsylvanians. The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program is funded by the Pennsylvania Lottery and revenue from slots gaming.

PennDOT online services a

convenient option for residents

PennDOT reminds Pennsylvania residents that they have an abundance of convenient transaction choices they can take advantage of from the comfort of their own homes by utilizing online options to fulfill their driver licensing and motor vehicle needs.

As with many services offered through commonwealth departments, through PennDOT's website — www.dmv.pa.gov — customers may obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services, including all forms, publications and driver training materials.

Driver and vehicle online services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and include non-commercial driver's license, photo ID and vehicle registration renewals; driver-history services; changes of address; driver license and vehicle registration restoration letters; ability to pay driver license or vehicle insurance restoration fee; driver license and photo ID duplicates; and driver exam scheduling.

Additionally, customers may upload their emergency contact information, which gives law enforcement the ability to quickly reach someone who will speak for the individual if ever they cannot speak for themselves. The information provided is stored in a secure database that is accessible only by law enforcement. There are no additional fees for using online services.

"PennDOT is proud to provide our customers with comprehensive online services, like vehicle and driver's license renewal, address changes, and much more," said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. "However, it's important that customers ensure that they are on PennDOT's official site before completing a transaction."

Third-party websites can appear "official," and often pay search engines to appear at the top of search results for common terms, like "renew vehicle registration" or "driver's license." Many third-party sites charge additional fees for completing transactions — there are no additional service or convenience fees for completing online transactions on PennDOT's website.

There are a few simple tips to help customers ensure that they are visiting PennDOT's official website:

—Rather than using a search engine to reach the PennDOT Driver and Vehicle Services website, that you enter the web address (www.dmv.pa.gov) directly into your browser's address bar.

—PennDOT does not charge any additional service or transaction fees for completing online transactions. If you are charged any additional fees, you aren't on the PennDOT website.

Cartwright announces $11.9M

for NEPA health care providers

U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Moosic, this week announced $11,941,411.95 in Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 4 payments allocated to the 8th Congressional District.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), will be distributing the funds to 139 providers in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

"We have depended on strained health care systems and exhausted health care workers for the entirety of the COVID-19 pandemic," Cartwright said. "All the while, health care providers have served their communities bravely, sometimes in overwhelming and dangerous situations. This round of funding provides some relief to those who are on the front lines fighting this virus as we continue to depend on them to keep our loved ones safe and healthy."

The Provider Relief Fund (PRF) was created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, reimburses health care providers for health care-related expenses or lost revenues attributable to COVID-19.

The PRF Phase 4 payments will be used to recruit and retain staff, purchase masks and other supplies, modernize facilities or implement other measures needed to respond to COVID-19. Provider Relief Fund Phase 4 payments are awarded based on changes in operating revenues and expenses from July 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021.

DEP releases draft of 2022 Pa.

integrated water quality report

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) this week released for public comment the draft Pennsylvania 2022 Integrated Water Quality Monitoring and Assessment Report, the biennial update on the health of streams and lakes statewide.

"The Integrated Water Quality Report is a vital tool for Pennsylvanians to be informed on the health of their streams, rivers, and lakes," said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. "We're committed to continuing to make it as robust as possible to equip Pennsylvanians to take action and be part of solutions to address challenges to water quality, whether in their neighborhood, county, or watershed."

DEP submits the Integrated Water Quality Report to the U.S. Environmental Protection agency and the public every two years, as required by the federal Clean Water Act of 1972. Waters are assessed for one or more of four uses — drinking water, fish consumption, aquatic life, and recreational use—and determined to be attaining or impaired.

DEP welcomes comments on the report. Comments can be made online through the DEP eComment system, may be emailed to ecomment@pa.gov, or can be mailed to the DEP Policy Office, Rachel Carson State Office Building, P.O. Box 2063, Harrisburg, PA 17105. All comments must include the commenter's name and address.

The deadline for comments is March 1.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the federal Clean Water Act, which established the structure for regulating discharges of pollutants and regulating quality standards for surface waters in the United States.

Reach Bill O'Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.