Help Available Applying for up to $650 State Rebate
3/8/2019
Help Available Wednesday Applying for up to $650 State Rebate

 
Our office staff will be helping local residents apply this coming Wednesday for a state rebate of up to $650 on the property taxes or rent they paid in 2018.

   Wednesday, March 13, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
   Cambridge Springs Senior Center
   156 Venango Ave., Cambridge Springs

Staff will be at the Cambridge Springs Senior Center to help residents complete applications for the state Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. Interested person should call Tami at 814-398-8616 to schedule an appointment.

This is the second time in the past several weeks our office has offered this assistance. We held a similar event at the same location on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program is designed to help eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older to receive up to a $650 rebate from the property taxes or rent they paid last year.

To be eligible, homeowners must earn less than $35,000 a year and renters less than $15,000 with half of Social Security income excluded.

Certain supplemental rebates can boost homeowner rebates up to $975. The supplemental rebates are automatically calculated by the Department of Revenue for qualifying homeowners.

Residents should not pay a private entity for assistance in filing the forms. Copies of the forms, as well as assistance with filing them, are available at my office at no cost.

Applicants should be prepared to provide all the necessary income, property tax or rental information required to process claims quickly and accurately. Property owners should bring 2018 property tax receipts. Renters should bring a rent certificate completed by their landlord. Applications are due by June 30.

Applicants who cannot attend Wednesday’s mobile clinic are welcome to stop by our district office in the Meadville Downtown Mall. Our office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Meadville Downtown Mall is located at 900 Water St. in Meadville.

 
Free Admission at Several State Museums Sunday

 
This Sunday, March 10, is Charter Day – a day to celebrate Pennsylvania’s 338th birthday. In honor of the occasion, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) will offer free admission to the State Museum in Harrisburg and many historic sites and museums along the Pennsylvania Trails of History this Sunday.

Visitors to The State Museum of Pennsylvania will have a rare opportunity to see the original Charter of Pennsylvania written in 1681. In addition to the charter, documents relating to the 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote, including Pennsylvania’s copy of the “Joint Resolution of Congress Proposing an Amendment to the United States Constitution Extending the Right of Suffrage to Women” and Pennsylvania’s “Joint Resolution for Ratification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution” will be on display. The documents will be on display until 1 p.m. Friday, March 15.

For a complete list of the participating museums and historic sites in this year’s celebration, click here.
                                                                               
 
Supporting PA National Guard Families

Ensuring a better future for our Pennsylvania National Guard members and their families is the driving force behind a first-of-its-kind Military Family Education Program.

The proposal builds on the state’s existing National Guard Military Education Program by extending benefits to a guard member’s spouse or children in exchange for the guard member committing to a second obligation of six years in the Guard.

The initiative not only recognizes the sacrifices made by Guard families but also helps retain current National Guard members and attract transitioning military service members to Pennsylvania.

The program would provide for 10 semesters of tuition-free education for family member(s).

The benefit must be used at a Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency approved educational institution, and at the tuition rate set by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
                                                                       
 
Budget Hearings Conclude

Making sure every dollar of state tax money is used to its maximum benefit, the House Appropriations Committee wrapped up its three-week series of budget hearings this week, with the committee looking into all aspects of the governor’s budget proposal.

The committee heard testimony and asked questions to the departments of Education, Agriculture, and Military and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Public School Employees’ Retirement System and State Employees’ Retirement System.

The Appropriations Committee will take the testimony gathered from these hearings into negotiations for the 2019-20 budget. All of the hearings are available here.
      
 
Resources to Help with Problem Gambling

 
With March being observed as National Problem Gambling Awareness Month, officials from the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and the Pennsylvania Lottery highlighted the warning signs of problem gambling and available resources to help.

Gambling can become a problem when a person develops strained relationships with loved ones; borrows money to gamble; gambles to get a “high”; or misses work, school or other activities and obligations in order to gamble.

In the Commonwealth, the Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania works to educate Pennsylvanians on compulsive and problem gambling to prevent development of dangerous gambling habits. It operates the Pennsylvania Problem Gambling helpline, 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537). More resources, including a 24-hour chat service, are also available at pacouncil.com.

Click here for more information on how to recognize the warning signs of a gambling problem. Click here to find information about treatment options.
                                                    
 
Spring Ahead: Turn Clocks Ahead One Hour This Weekend

 
Daylight saving time will begin on Sunday, March 10, at 2 a.m., and residents are reminded to turn their clocks ahead one hour Saturday night.

This is also a good time to check and/or change batteries in both smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. The alarms should also be replaced every 10 years.

Daylight saving time will end on Nov. 3.