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Deadine extended to Dec. 31 to apply for property tax/rent rebates

Times Leader - 6/4/2024

Jun. 4--WILKES-BARRE -- In order to ensure as many Pennsylvanians receive the relief they are entitled to, Gov. Josh Shapiro has extended the deadline for older adults and Pennsylvanians with disabilities to apply for rebates on rent and property taxes paid in 2023 from June 30 to Dec. 31, 2024.

Eligible applicants of the Property Tax/Rent Rebate (PTRR) program are encouraged to file their rebate applications online by visiting -- mypath.pa.gov. This online filing option makes it simple to submit the PTRR application and the supporting documentation needed to verify each applicant's eligibility.

"After hearing from seniors across the Commonwealth that we needed to do more to cut costs and put money back in their pockets, my Administration put in the hard work to expand the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program for the first time in nearly 20 years," Shapiro said. "The Property Tax/Rent Rebate program has long been a lifeline for our seniors and people with disabilities, especially those on a fixed income. This is what it looks like when we work together, put partisanship aside, and get stuff done for Pennsylvania. With higher income limits for renters and homeowners in place this year, we're seeing thousands more Pennsylvanians access this critical program -- and now, eligible Pennsylvanians have until the end of the year to apply and take advantage of the Property Tax/Rent rebate."

Secretary of Revenue Pat Browne said that so far this year, the agency has already received approximately 445,000 rebate applications.

"That's roughly 100,000 more applications than we had received at this time last year -- and the applicant pool thus far includes nearly 80,000 first-time filers who will be benefiting from the rebate program for the very first time," Browne said . "With today's announcement, we want eligible applicants in all of Pennsylvania's 67 counties to know that they have more time to file their rebate applications. In addition to Department of Revenue district offices, there are a number of places across the Commonwealth where people can find in-person filing assistance."

DOR has already processed and approved 92% of PTRR applications for payment. The remaining claims yet to be approved either have errors or may require more information -- if you receive outreach from DOR, Pennsylvanians are encouraged to respond as soon as possible in order to get their application approved so they can receive their rebate in a timely manner.

Submitting your application through myPATH is easy and does not require you to sign up for an account. Filing online gives you instant confirmation that your claim has been successfully filed. Applicants also will have access to automatic calculators and other helpful features that are not available through the paper application.

It's free to apply for a rebate and assistance is available at hundreds of locations across the state: Department of Revenue district offices, local Area Agencies on Aging, and state legislators' offices. You must reapply for a rebate every year as they are based on annual income and property taxes or rent paid during the prior year.

Rebates that have been approved for payment will be distributed beginning July 1, as required by law.

UC Connect marks second year offering

in-person customer service to claimants

In the two years since its launch, the Shapiro Administration's UC Connect program offering in-person customer service to Unemployment Compensation (UC) claimants throughout the Commonwealth has served more than 75,000 Pennsylvanians thanks to bipartisan investments in the 2023-24 budget that enabled the Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) to hire more staff trained to assist claimants with technology or language barriers.

UC Connect ensures that Pennsylvania's UC program is a true safety net for workers who have lost a job through no fault of their own by enhancing the accessibility of the program. In-person services for UC claimants available at Pennsylvania CareerLink(R) locations are designed to assist individuals who do not have proper technology, equipment, or technical skills; individuals without access to home Internet or broadband; and individuals with limited-English proficiency.

To make a UC Connect appointment, claimants should call 1-855-284-8545.

"When the UC Connect program started two years ago, we knew that some claimants would appreciate the opportunity to interact with UC staff in person. But the success of UC Connect has exceeded our expectations, and it's proved to be a key component of our strategy to deliver an effective safety-net program to Pennsylvanians in times of hardship," said L&I Secretary Nancy A. Walker. "More than 75,000 Pennsylvanians have had their questions answered and their issues resolved thanks to a traditional customer-service model that meets the needs of so many individuals who might otherwise face barriers to service. UC Connect is a great example of government being a force for good, and our team at L&I looks forward to continuing our commitment to delivering this service to Pennsylvanians."

UC Connect launched in May 2022 under the Wolf Administration with grant funding from the U.S. Department of Labor. Under Governor Josh Shapiro's and Secretary Walker's leadership, L&I continued the program in 2023 and successfully worked with the General Assembly to invest in staffing to maintain the program permanently.

NASCAR Cup Series race named 'The Great

American Getaway 400 presented by VISITPA'

The Shapiro Administration is breaking new ground in the motorsports industry, serving as the race entitlement sponsor for the annual NASCAR Cup Series event at Pocono Raceway set for Sunday, July 14.

The 160-lap, 400-mile race will be titled -- "The Great American Getaway 400 presented by VISITPA" -- and provide national and international exposure to the state and its new tourism brand through NASCAR's wide audience and global broadcast platforms.

According to MarketCast data, NASCAR ranks first among all major U.S. sports in fan loyalty to sponsors, including those who consider trying, consciously support and recommend sponsors.

"NASCAR Cup Series races are some of the biggest and best sporting events in the world, and nobody does it better than Pennsylvania," said Gov. Josh Shapiro. "Every year, I love coming to 'The Tricky Triangle' to watch some of the best drivers and crews in the world navigate those three turns. Here in the Commonwealth, we have it all -- from top tier sports and events, award-winning restaurants, incredible hikes and state parks, and the most important historic sites in the country that tell the story of our shared history. This year, Pennsylvania tourism is taking the driver's seat at the Pocono Raceway."

Pocono Raceway President Ben May said 60% of fans and partners travel to Pennsylvania from out of state so being able to showcase the Pocono Mountains and launch 'The Great American Getaway' is something not often afforded the privilege of doing.

"We can't wait to show off the Commonwealth and continue driving tourism for this great state of ours," May said.

The Great American Getaway 400 presented by VISITPA will be televised live on the USA Network, along with live radio broadcasts on SiriusXM and MRN, beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET. The race also will be broadcast in more than 29 languages across 195 countries through NASCAR's international television partners.

The NASCAR Cup Series race weekend also is an economic engine for the state with an annual impact of $75 to $100 million.

Last week the Shapiro Administration unveiled Pennsylvania's new state tourism brand and summer travel marketing campaign to encourage more people to travel across and visit the Commonwealth -- Pennsylvania: The Great American Getaway.

Lane restrictions this week on I-81

in Lackawanna and Luzerne counties

PennDOT has announced that there will be lane restrictions on Interstate 81 northbound and southbound beginning Monday, June 3, as follows:

--Interstate 81 northbound in Luzerne County from Exit 165 (Mountain Top/Wilkes-Barre) to Exit 180 (Moosic) in for shoulder cutting and pothole patching. Work will occur Monday, June 3, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

--Interstate 81 northbound and southbound in Lackawanna County from Exit 191 (Dickson City) and Exit 194 (Clarks Summit), Monday, June 3-Thursday, June 6, from 9 a.m. -- 3 p.m. for utility work.

Motorists should expect delays and are advised to take alternate routes when possible.

When encountering a work zone, please drive the posted speed limit, turn on your headlights, pay close attention to signs and flaggers, and avoid all distractions.

In high-traffic locations, motorists are encouraged to use both lanes of travel to the merge point and take turns merging into the open lane.

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

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