State Senator John Yudichak (D-14th) today reminded area senior citizens that while some companies are charging $45 to assist in filing for the property tax/rent rebate program, his offices offer the service free of charge.

"I want all senior citizens to know that free assistance for the PA Property Tax and Rent Rebate program is readily available at my district offices in Nanticoke, Exeter or Jim Thorpe," Yudichak said. "In tough economic times, it is essential that we do not spend more than required and paying for a free service is not a good financial decision."

Free Property Tax/Rent Rebate application forms and assistance are also available through the Department of Revenue's District Offices, local Area Agencies on Aging, and local senior centers.

The passage of the Taxpayer Relief Act helps seniors and disabled residents remain in their homes and make ends meet through property tax relief. More seniors than ever before are eligible after a major expansion of the state Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. The income eligibility level for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program has been raised from $15,000 a year to $35,000 a year, excluding half of Social Security income, and the maximum rebate was increased from $500 to $650 for homeowners. Claimants or spouses 65 years of age or older; widows or widowers 50 years of age or older; and the permanently disabled 18 years of age or older may qualify for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program.

The deadline to apply for a rebate on property taxes or rent paid in 2011 is December 31, 2012.

Senior citizens can call Senator Yudichak's Exeter Office at 570-883-4690, the Nanticoke Office at 570-740-2434 or the Jim Thorpe Office at 570-325-3274 for more information on applying for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program.

For more information on Sen. Yudichak's ongoing community outreach efforts, visit www.senatoryudichak.com [1] http://www.senatoryudichak.com/ [2]