I hope you had a safe and enjoyable 4th of July holiday. I wish I could tell you the School District of Philadelphia's funding troubles are over but, unfortunately, that's not the case. The cigarette tax to provide new revenue to Philadelphia's schools passed the Senate on July 8th. This measure could generate up to $83 million annually in much-needed school funding. However, the legislation still requires approval of the House of Representatives, which will not reconvene until Aug. 4th. While this funding remains in limbo, I and my colleagues will continue the fight for fair and adequate funding for all of Pennsylvania's school children. There is a lot going on and I’ll keep you informed about what is happening with the budget and our schools.
And, finally, here are a few additional updates for you today:
- Where to find outdoor movie fun;
- Getting your free recycle bin;
- The extension of the tax/rent rebate program;
- Price changes on birth certificates and automotive fees; and
- Philadelphia’s new BenePhilly Centers.
Do you need help with anything? If so, call my district office at 215-952-3121, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit 1802 S. Broad St., Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
All My Best,
Sen. Larry Farnese
Summer Fun: Outdoor Movies
Have some fun this summer by watching one of your favorite movies outside on a giant, inflatable movie screen with friends and your picnic basket. For a list of titles, locations, dates and times, click here.
Get Your Free Recycling Bin
Help make Philadelphia the cleanest and greenest city in the nation by recycling. My office has free recycle bins, so stop in and pick one up today.
Property Tax/Rent Rebate Deadline Extended
The filing deadline for Pennsylvania’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program has been extended to Dec. 31. The program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older, widows and widowers age 50 and older, and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is $35,000 a year for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters. Remember to exclude half of your Social Security income when you are calculating your eligibility. The maximum standard rebate is $650 but supplemental rebates for qualifying homeowners can boost some rebates to $975.
Property Tax/Rent Rebate claim forms (PA-1000) and related information are available at www.revenue.state.pa.us, by calling 1-888-222-9190 or visiting my district office.
New Prices for State Services
The Pennsylvania Department of Health recently announced that the application fee for birth certificates will increase from $10 to $20. Additionally, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is changing some of their fees too including:
- Preserve Our Heritage Plate – From $35 to $54;
- PA Zoological Plate - From $35 to $54;
- Replace Registration Plate – From $7.50 to $11;
- Temporary and Electronic Issuing of Tags – From $5 to $14;
- Transfer of Registration - From $6 to $9; and
- Certificate of Inspection - From $2 to $5 for each annual certificate of inspection.
If you have questions about submitting your birth certificate request or the above fee changes, call or visit my district office.
New Philadelphia Benefits Centers
The City of Philadelphia has opened six new BenePhilly Centers to help low-income Philadelphians better access federal, state and local programs. The centers will provide support for:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP);
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF);
- Health insurance like CHIP, Medicaid and Medicare;
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP);
- Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC);
- Child Care Tax Credit; and
- State and city property tax credits, including the Homestead Exemption.
The BenePhilly Centers are located:
- Catholic Social Services, Casa Del Carmen, 4400 N. Reese St.;
- People’s Emergency Center, in the Families First building, 3939 Warren St.;
- Philadelphia FIGHT, 1233 Locust St.;
- Project HOME, 1515 Fairmount Ave.;
- Utilities Emergency Services Fund, 1617 JFK Blvd., Suite 840; and
- United Communities Southeast Philadelphia, in the Houston Center, 2029 S. 8th St.
The BenePhilly Centers also provide benefits screenings and referrals for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Unemployment Insurance (UI).
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