Blake Announces Property Tax/Rent Rebate Outreach Schedule

THROOP, February 4, 2019 – State Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today held his first Property Tax/Rent Rebate Outreach Event at Throop Civic Center where his staff assisted a number of residents in applying for the state’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program.

“As we continue to work to find common ground in Harrisburg on meaningful residential property tax reform, it is important that our fixed income seniors know that there is a state program to help ease the burden of property taxes,” Blake said. “Over the next month, my staff will be available at community centers across Lackawanna County to ensure that our eligible property owners and renters are applying to the state’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program.”

Blake said that over the next month, his staff will travel to communities across Lackawanna County to ensure residents are applying for this important state benefit.

Senator Blake’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Outreach Schedule is as follows:

  • Friday, February 8 from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. at Academy II Apartments (202 Academy St., Moscow)
  • Monday, February 11 from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. at the Jermyn Community Center (440 Jefferson Ave., Jermyn)
  • Tuesday, February 12 from 10 a.m. – noon at the Carbondale Senior Center (66 N. Church St., Carbondale)
  • Thursday, February 14 from 10 a.m. – noon at the Dickson City Civic Center (935 Albert St., Dickson City)
  • Friday, February 22 from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. at The Gathering Place (304 S. State St., Clarks Summit)
  • Monday, February 25 from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. at the Joe Terry Civic Center (1038 Montdale Rd., Scott Township)

The Pennsylvania Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and over; widows and widowers age 50 and over; and people with disabilities ages 18 and older. Homeowners with a maximum yearly income of $35,000 and renters with a maximum yearly income of $15,000 are eligible for a rebate. The maximum standard rebate is $650, and half of the applicants Social Security income is excluded.  

To apply for a Property Tax/Rent Rebate, residents are required to provide proof of their 2018 income (W-2, 1099, etc.); a current government issued ID; and proof of property taxes or rent paid in 2018.

Blake noted that additional dates will be added to his outreach schedule over the next few weeks.

# # #

Blake Discusses State Budget, Education Funding and Pension Reform at Annual Legislative Breakfast

SCRANTON, February 12, 2016 – State Sen. John Blake (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) today hosted nearly 100 local and municipal officials at the Hilton Hotel and Conference Center in Scranton for his sixth annual legislative breakfast.

In the wake of the governor’s 2016-17 budget address coupled with the fiscal uncertainties created by the over $6 billion in line-item vetoes from the 2015-16 state budget, Senator Blake spent much of the time describing the stark realities facing the Commonwealth.

[divider top=”0″]

[divider top=”0″]

“We have to be more responsible about our fiscal and budgetary obligations as a legislature,” Blake said. “The underfunded, incomplete budget that we are currently operating under is not only $6 billion short of the needs of our schools, hospitals and citizens – but according to some estimates, nearly $500 million out of balance.”

LegislativeBreakfast1On Tuesday, Governor Tom Wolf proposed a $33.288 billion state budget for 2016-17 which was built on the assumption that the bipartisan agreement negotiated in December will ultimately be enacted. The agreement which was not enacted in the House after it passed the Senate by a 43-7 vote would have included a nearly $500 million increase in public education funding; elimination of our structural budget deficit; $78 million in new funding for higher education; and fully funded pension and debt obligations.

“The governor’s 2016-17 budget is focused on two things: education funding and addressing the Commonwealth’s budget deficit. These are certainly priorities for Pennsylvania, but we also must find a consensus and an end to the sharp political division within the Capitol,” Blake said. “When the governor signed the budget and blue-line vetoed $6 billion – we lost a lot of leverage towards getting the 2015-16 bipartisan agreement enacted and it is my belief that it is time for us to address the remaining appropriation for 2015-16 so we can pivot to the 2016-17 budget negotiation.”

IMG_6883Blake also discussed the numerous state pension reform proposals that were proposed in the past year and which were a part of the 2015-16 budget compromise reached in December.

“The pension reform plan that passed in the Senate was not a perfect plan. It would, however, have enabled a responsible, balanced budget that included the largest education funding increase in Pennsylvania history; tens of millions of dollars to restore past cuts to human services and economic development programs; and it would have eliminated the structural deficit we are faced with in this and the next fiscal year,” Blake said.

Another issue discussed at the legislative breakfast was property tax relief.

“Any discussion about taxes to address our structural deficit has to include a discussion about property tax relief,” Blake added.

There are numerous proposals circulating the Capitol on property tax relief including a proposal by the Senate Democratic Caucus. This plan would provide significant property tax relief through rebates to homeowners of up to $1,990 annually as well as $500 rebates to renters earning less than $50,000 annually. The plan would eliminate school property taxes for 2 million homeowners across the state and significantly reduce the local property tax burden for an additional 1.2 million homeowners.

Blake, who serves as the Democratic Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said that the Senate will return to Harrisburg later this month for a full slate of budget hearings on the governor’s 2016-17 budget proposal and, hopefully, to deal with the budget crisis that continues to threaten our schools and our hospitals as a result of the work undone on the 2015-16 state budget.

# # #

Blake Encourages Seniors to Apply for Property Tax Relief

HARRISBURG, February 10, 2011 – – State Sen. John P. Blake today encouraged eligible senior citizens to begin applying for the state’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program.

“Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is one of the most valuable programs for our senior citizens and it is imperative that they know of its availability,” Blake said. “The looming budget crisis and threat of reduced education funding may adversely affect our local property taxes and this program significantly softens the blow of property taxes for our seniors.”

Blake said that applications for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program were sent out to seniors who previously qualified for a rebate. Any other senior who believes they may be eligible for a rebate can download an application online starting today at or by contacting his Scranton district office at (570) 207-2881.

The Lottery-funded Property Tax and Rent Rebate Program provides benefits to homeowners or renters who are 65 or older, widows and widowers 50 and older, and people with disabilities 18 and older.

Blake said a rebate combined with relief from slots revenue can eliminate property taxes for some residents.

# # #