Could a new tax rebate idea be the hot ‘stimulus check’ of 2022? The new state budget for Pennsylvania signed into law last week by Governor Tom Wolf allocates an additional $140 million for the state’s property tax and rent rebate program – what seems like the new stimulus check idea that many states are passing in various iterations and versions. It means that the $45.2 billion state budget will increase payments for eligible recipients across the state by a substantial 70% for the year.
The changes made to the budget come after state Rep. Joe Ciresi, a Democrat representing Montgomery, introduced legislation to “significantly expand” the program.
“Pennsylvania residents are struggling to afford basic necessities, including housing, due to rising inflation,” said in a June statement. “While inflation has risen, the Property Tax Rent Rebate Program’s stagnant income limits have prevented increasing numbers of individuals from accessing this critical lifeline. My legislation will update income requirements and other provisions of the PTRR so more individuals in need can receive assistance and property tax relief from this vital program.”
So is it stimulus check time all over again? Not exactly. The rebate is not, however, available to everyone.
Pennsylvanians age 65 and older, widows and widows aged 50 and older, and people with disabilities who are aged 18 and older qualify for the rebates. Homeowners with an income below $35,000 qualify for the rebate, as well as renters earning $15,000.
The maximum total rebate is $650, which applies to homeowners earning less than $8,000.
The full detail of the sliding scale of eligibility can be found here.
Weeks Of Negotiations on These New ‘Stimulus Checks’
Negotiations ended this week with Governor Tom Wolf and state legislators finally agreeing on the final details of the budget package, roughly two weeks later than initially intended. It resulted from closed-door talks between Wolf’s office and the leaders of the GOP-controlled legislature.
As part of the negotiations, Democratic Governor Wolf secured new subsidies for public schools across the state, helping him fulfill one of his big campaign promises.
The deal saw a 13% increase in spending and plans to use $2.2 billion of the state’s leftover federal COVID-19 aid for education and some human services, spanning child care and mental health programs.
Stimulus Checking Coming Soon: When Is the Deadline for the Tax/Rent Rebate Program?
Those looking to apply for the rebate have more time to do so, with the state agreeing to extend the deadline to December 31, 2022.
In a statement, Revenue Secretary Dan Hassell said that 41,000 Pennsylvanians had used myPATH to file their rebate applications online by June.
“We’re hopeful that other eligible claimants will take advantage of myPATH in the coming months now that the program deadline has been extended through the remainder of the year,” Hassell added.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.