Senator Bob Mensch E-Newsletter

View this email in a browser

In this Update:

  • Mensch Report: PA Capitol Preservation
  • Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program Application Deadline Extended to End of Year
  • Scam Targets Property Tax/Rent Rebate Recipients
  • Financial Aid Scams Target Unsuspecting
  • Students and Borrowers
  • JULY 4 is “Fish for Free Day” in PA
  • Around the 24th District

Mensch Report: PA Capitol Preservation

0619_Mensch_Capitol_EDIT

This month’s Mensch Report takes a look at what it takes to preserve the Capitol’s history.

Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program Application Deadline Extended to End of Year

The deadline for older adults and Pennsylvania residents with disabilities to apply for rebates on rent and property taxes paid in 2018 has been extended to Dec. 31, 2019.

The rebate 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, and half of Social Security income is excluded.

The maximum standard rebate is $650, but supplemental rebates for certain qualifying homeowners can boost rebates to $975. The Department of Revenue automatically calculates supplemental rebates for qualifying homeowners.

Applicants who requested a paper check to be mailed to them should expect to receive their payment in the mail in early July. As a reminder, applicants are required to submit their bank account information on their application forms in order to receive their rebates through direct deposit.

Distribution of rebates starts July 1 and eligible Pennsylvanians are encouraged to apply as soon as they can. Rebates will be distributed as claims are received and processed. Applications typically take 6-8 weeks to process.

Applicants may obtain Property Tax/Rent Rebate claim forms (PA-1000) and related information on the Department of Revenue’s website or by calling, toll-free, 1-888-222-9190.

Claimants who already applied for rebates may check Property Tax/Rent Rebate Status online or call, toll-free, 1-888-PATAXES.

Scam Targets Property Tax/Rent Rebate Recipients

A new scam to be alert for consists of unsolicited calls from a person claiming to work for the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. The caller says an application for Property Tax or Rent Rebate has been approved and then asks if the recipient would like the rebate directly deposited into a bank account – and asks for his or her bank information.

This is a scam. The Department of Revenue does not make live calls regarding Property Tax or Rent Rebate applications and does not collect applicant banking deposit information over the phone.

The Department of Revenue does contact applicants via automated calls to confirm their information has been received and approved. If the department needs more information about an individual’s Property Tax or Rent Rebate application, it sends a letter through the U.S. Postal Service.

Individuals can request that their rebate be directly deposited; those requests, however, must be made when the signed application is submitted to the Department of Revenue.

If you receive a phone call from an individual claiming to represent the Department of Revenue and is requesting personal bank account information, DO NOT give out any banking information or any personal information (including Social Security numbers) to these callers.

If you received one of these calls and provided your banking information or other personal information, immediately call your bank to make them aware of this potential fraud.

Financial Aid Scams Target Unsuspecting Students and Borrowers

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA)is warning students and borrowers to be wary of financial aid scams that could expose them to identity theft and significant financial loss.

In one recent example, scammers are fraudulently representing themselves as known student loan servicers through social media in order to obtain personal information by claiming that a student is “eligible” for total student loan forgiveness.

The most effective way to avoid becoming the victim of a scam is to be alert and vigilant when asked to provide any form of personal information or when engaging in financial transactions. Recent scams include:

  • Student loan forgiveness scams – Companies or individuals claim to reduce or eliminate student debt in exchange for Loan forgiveness programs have specific eligibility requirements. No one can guarantee forgiveness in exchange for a fee.
  • Tuition scams – These involve someone claiming to work for your school’s administrative office, calling to warn you that your tuition is late and you risk being dropped from class unless you pay If you are contacted about anything involving money, end the call immediately and contact your school directly in order to check the status of the alleged problem.
  • Unnecessary fees for service – While not necessarily a scam, beware of anyone charging a fee in exchange for application completion, a scholarship, debt counseling, or almost anything In most cases, it is either a scam or you are being charged for something that you can easily access for free.

There are several steps you can take to protect yourself from fraud and scams. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recommends the following tips to avoid scams:

  • Don’t share your Social Security number, credit card information, or account passwords.
  • Never pay up front for a promised It’s a scam if you are told that you must pay fees or taxes to receive a prize or other financial windfall.
  • After hearing a sales pitch, take the time to compare Ask for information in writing and read it carefully.
  • Too good to be true? Ask yourself why someone is trying so hard to give you a “great ” If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Watch out for deals that are only “good today” and pressure you to act Walk away from high-pressure sales tactics that don’t allow you time to read a contract or get legal advice before signing. Also, don’t fall for the sales pitch that says you need to pay immediately, for example by wiring the money or sending it by courier.
  • Put your number on the National Do Not Call Go to www.donotcall.gov or call 888-382-1222.

If you believe that you have been targeted or victimized by a scam, please contact the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities, the CFPB, or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

JULY 4 is “Fish for Free Day” in PA

On Thursday, July 4, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will waive its license requirement, allowing anglers to fish within public waterways across the Commonwealth without possessing a fishing license.

From 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on July 4, no fishing license is required to fish, however all other fishing regulations apply. Complete fishing regulations can be viewed, downloaded and printed for FREE from the PFBC website, or by using the FishBoatPA mobile app.

Click here to view a map of dozens of tackle loaner site across Pennsylvania, including many state parks, county parks and some public libraries.

More information is available on the PFBC website including interactive maps, regional fishing reports and tips on fishing fundamentals. Want to keep the fun going for the rest of the season? Fishing licenses can be purchased online at GoneFishingPA.com or at more than 700 retail license issuing agents!

The PA Caregiver Support Program provides primary caregivers with a break from caregiving, reimbursement for costs of services and supplies, training, counseling and more. There are categories for relatives and non-relatives. The program is administered by your local Area Agency on Aging. Details & how to apply:

https://www.aging.pa.gov/…/caregiver-sup…/pages/default.aspx

2019-20 hunting licenses/permits are on sale now. Most licenses are available online and take up to 10 business days to arrive. You can also find a license issuing agent and key dates here:
https://www.pgc.pa.gov/…/LicensesandPerm…/Pages/default.aspx.

The number of young people using e-cigarettes is up in PA, the PA Health Department reports, noting that most contain nicotine, which is addictive and bad for brain development. Parents and teens can find facts and get tips for quitting tobacco products here:
https://e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov/default.htm.

Around the 24th District

On June 25th  I joined PA State Rep. Marcy Toepel, Rep. Steve Malagari, and Senator Maria Collett in recognizing the Souderton Area High School Baseball Team for capturing the PIAA 6A state championship title. They were recognized in the House chamber and presented with citations from both the House and Senate. Congratulations to the Souderton Area High School Baseball Team!

It was a pleasure to meet Maura Campbell from Palisades High School last week while she was attending the Keystone Girls State in Harrisburg, PA.

Crysta O’Donnell (left) is interning for my Red Hill office this summer. She is a former Palisades School District, Bucks County student and is a current student at the University of Scranton.

She finished second place in the “Talk to Your State Senator” statewide video competition in 2018. The competition was launched to get middle school and high school students involved in legislative efforts to fight heroin and opioid abuse. It was sponsored by the Senate of Pennsylvania, with support from members of the Drug and Alcohol Service Providers Organization of PA.

I was happy to welcome Crysta, her parents, and her siblings to the PA Senate on June 19th. You can watch their introduction here: https://pasen.wistia.com/medias/xiw0x1a5vt.

I was happy to welcome and introduce the McQuillin family to the PA Senate on June 18th.

You can watch their introduction by visiting https://pasen.wistia.com/medias/wlixb17260.

Proud to recognize Troop 79 and participate in their 90 Year Celebration of Scouting!

On June 12th, I had the privilege of presenting Mr. Larry Seip with a proclamation that recognized his 50 years of service to the Montgomery County Volunteer Fire Police Association and the Pennsylvania Fire Police Association. We are grateful to Mr. Seip for his commitment and dedication to the welfare of his fellow citizens.

divider

Twitter and Facebook I post regular updates on legislative action, committee developments, useful state-related information, happenings in the 24th Senatorial District and more on Twitter @SenatorMensch and on my Facebook page.

If you find this e-newsletter useful, I invite you to visit my website www.senatormensch.com for more information about your state government.

Facebook Twitter Instagram

If you do not wish to receive this email, click here to unsubscribe.

2019 © Senate of Pennsylvania | https://www.senatormensch.com | Privacy Policy