State Capitol Roundup

Property Tax/Rent Rebate Deadline Extended

The deadline to apply for the state’s 2012 Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is being extended from June 30 to Dec. 31.  Eligible participants can receive a rebate of up to $650 based on their rent or property taxes paid in 2012. The program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians who are 65 years or older, widows and widowers 50 years or older, and those 18 years or older with permanent disabilities.  Income eligibility limits are set at the following levels, excluding 50 percent of Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, and Railroad Retirement Tier 1 benefits:  $0 to $8,000, maximum $650 rebate (homeowners and renters); $8,001 to $15,000, maximum $500 rebate (homeowners and renters); $15,001 to $18,000, maximum $300 rebate (homeowners only); and $18,001 to $35,000, maximum $250 rebate (homeowners only).  Residents are reminded to provide all the necessary income, property tax or rental information required to process claims quickly and accurately.  Claimants who already applied for Property Tax/Rent Rebates may check the status of claims online by visiting Rep. Kerry Benninghoff’s (R-Centre/Mifflin) website at and clicking on the “Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program” link on the right side.  Rebate checks will be mailed out starting July 1 to those who have already submitted applications.  As of May 31, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue had received 506,518 rebate applications.

House Approves Bill to Give Veterans Priority Scheduling at Public Universities

The House this week unanimously approved a measure to help veterans who plan to take college courses.  House Bill 1164 would allow veterans who are students to receive priority course scheduling at public institutions of higher education in Pennsylvania to give them the flexibility to assimilate back into civilian society and receive the necessary education to rejoin the workforce.  Unemployment among veterans is higher than the general population.  The bill empowers veterans to use their VA educational benefits in the most efficient manner possible.  House Bill 1164 now goes before the Senate for consideration.

House Passes Bill to Ensure Quality Unemployment Services in Pennsylvania

Members of the House voted in support of a bill to help ensure qualified Pennsylvanians receive unemployment compensation payments in a timely manner.  House Bill 26 would divert a portion of employee unemployment compensation taxes to be deposited into a newly established fund known as the Service and Infrastructure Fund.  Money deposited into this fund would allow the Department of Labor and Industry to improve the quality, efficiency and timeliness of services provided by unemployment compensation centers.  The bill aims to save the department from unemployment compensation service center closures and personnel cuts that would further degrade services to claimants.  The measure now goes before the Senate for consideration.
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