Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced that residents who already received a property tax or rent rebate would get an additional one that’s 70 percent of their original rebate—or up to $1,657.50, according to a statement from his office late last week.
“I am proud that bonus rebates are starting to roll out to Pennsylvanians in need this week,” said Wolf. “I proposed these bonus rebates back in February to help low-income Pennsylvanians deal with inflation and higher costs. For older adults in particular—many of whom are on a fixed income—a bonus Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program rebate this year will be a gamechanger. These bonus rebates will help older adults and Pennsylvanians with disabilities stay in their homes.”
The rebate is part of a law that Wolf signed last month that handed out more financial relief to people who were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will be doled out via the Democrat-backed American Rescue Plan that was signed into law last year by President Joe Biden.
About 361,042 Pennsylvanians are slated to receive bonus rebates, Wolf’s office said. Those people do not have to take additional action to obtain it, the statement said.
“Rather, they will automatically receive their one-time bonus rebates through the same method (direct deposit or mailed paper check) that they received their original rebates earlier this year,” it said.
Other than Pennsylvania, several other states have given rebates or one-time payments due to COVID-19. They include New York, Illinois, Rhode Island, and Connection, among others.
Wolf, meanwhile, called on the state legislature to pass a law that would hand out $2,000 stimulus checks to offset inflation, although some critics say that such a move would actually exacerbate price pressures. His administration made a similar proposal in February, although it didn’t pass.
“I want to give Pennsylvanians the step up they need to survive inflation and higher prices. So, $2,000 to any family, to families making $80,000 dollars or less. We estimated that about 250,000 families will apply for this,” the governor said last week, claiming Pennsylvania “has the ability to do this.”
But Christina Herrin from the nonprofit Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), has said that proposed inflation-related stimulus checks are a “fruitless attempt to combat inflation.”
“A one-time payment for ‘inflation relief’ is far different than tax rebates that many states are providing to all taxpayers based on income. They are feel-good band-aids that will make everything more expensive and keep inflation going longer than it would otherwise,” Herrin said.
Naveen Athrappully contributed to this report.