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RISMEDIA, Jan. 16, 2008-Homeowners across Pennsylvania will receive property tax relief in 2008, thanks to gaming revenues, state Budget Secretary Michael Masch said today. He confirmed that December revenue from the state’s five open casinos was transferred today to the Property Tax Relief Fund, pushing it past the $570 million threshold required by the 2006 Taxpayer Relief Act to reduce property taxes for homeowners. The current balance available to support property tax relief is $576,608,974, including the reserve funds required by law.

Homeowners across the state can expect some property tax relief this summer because we took the bold step to expand gaming opportunities in Pennsylvania,” Masch said.

“This is on top of the more than $234 million in property tax relief that was provided in 2007 to nearly 540,000 senior citizens through the Property Tax and Rent Rebate program, which was also expanded because of gaming revenue,” he said. “Once general property tax relief goes out this summer, thousands of senior homeowners will pay no school property taxes.

“With fewer than half of the authorized gaming facilities open, we have already reached the threshold for property tax relief,” Masch said. “Imagine the economic benefit to homeowners and communities across the state when all the facilities are open.”

Current law calls for homeowners to see the property tax reduction in their tax bill, which school districts will issue in the summer. The amount of property tax relief will vary by school district and will depend on the amount certified by the budget secretary. Under state law, by April 15 of each year, the budget secretary must certify the current balance in the fund and additional revenues projected through Oct. 15.

The Rendell administration is committed to creating a first-rate public education system, protecting our most vulnerable citizens and continuing economic investment to support our communities and businesses.

For more information, visit http://www.governor.state.pa.us.

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