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Legislative roundup

U.S. Rep. Fitzpatrick announces grants to local fire companies; Treasurer Garrity urges residents to apply for Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program

U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick

Money for EMS, fire company

U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-1st dist.) announced the Warwick Township Fire Company No. 1 and the Chalfont Emergency Medical Services Inc. have received FY 2022 Assistance to Firefighters Grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to enhance their response capabilities and to more effectively protect the health and safety of the public and emergency response personnel from fire and other related hazards.

Warwick Township Fire Company No. 1 received a total of $167,192.38 and Chalfont Emergency Medical Services received a total of $17,535.81. These grants will be used for Operation and Safety through the AFG program. The purpose of the AFG program is to award grants directly to fire departments, nonaffiliated emergency medical services organizations and State Fire Training Academies to enhance their ability to protect the health and safety of the public as well as that of first responder personnel. Using a competitive process that is informed by fire service subject matter experts, grants are awarded to eligible applicants whose applications best address the priorities of the AFG program. Since FY 2001, the AFG program has awarded about $8.1 billion in grants to provide needed resources.

“This grant for our Central Bucks first responders is a win for all of our residents who rely on our brave women and men who respond to emergencies at a moment’s notice,” Fitzpatrick said. “I am proud to be an advocate for these two stations as they work to modernize their operations and support our brave first responders who work to protect our community.” ••

Presentations on estate planning

Bucks County Register of Wills and Clerk of Orphans’ Court Linda Bobrin will be giving presentations at senior centers across Bucks County, addressing the importance of estate planning.

Half-hour-long presentations will be held on the following dates: Sept. 11 at 11 a.m., at Upper Bucks Senior Center; Sept. 19 at 10 a.m., at Bensalem Senior Citizens Association; and Oct. 6 at 9:30 a.m., at Northampton Township James E. Kinney Center.

For more information, email Rachel Landsberg at ralandsberg@buckscounty.org. ••

Apply for rebate

State Treasurer Stacy Garrity is encouraging eligible residents to apply for the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program.

“Expanding the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program will help some of the most vulnerable Pennsylvanians – especially seniors on fixed budgets – at a time when the effects of historically high inflation continue to wreck household budgets. This essential program has provided more than $7.3 billion in relief since it started in 1971. One of Treasury’s highest priorities is processing these payments quickly to get the funds into the hands of the people who need them. The General Assembly and the governor deserve a lot of credit for expanding it to help even more of our citizens,” Garrity said.

The deadline to apply for a rebate this year has been extended to Dec. 31.

“I encourage everyone who is eligible for this year’s rebates to apply as soon as possible. Treasury prioritizes getting these payments out the door and we will make payments on a rolling basis as applicants are approved by the Department of Revenue,” Garrity said.

Starting in 2024, the maximum standard rebate will increase from $650 to $1,000.

Also in 2024, the household income limit for property tax rebates will increase to $45,000 (up from the current $35,000 limit). The household income limit for rent rebates will also increase to $45,000 (up from $15,000).

Beginning in 2025, the new income limits will be adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers. That calculation will be done by the Secretary of Revenue.

The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program benefits Pennsylvanians age 65 and older, widows and widowers age 50 and older, and people with disabilities age 18 and older. Some homeowners may qualify for supplemental rebates.

For more information about eligibility, Pennsylvanians can visit the Department of Revenue’s website, revenue.pa.gov, or call 888-222-9190. ••

Beware of scams

State Attorney General Michelle Henry – a former Bucks County district attorney – is offering this guidance to older Pennsylvanians, their families and anyone else targeted for solicitation:

• Never send money or gift cards to someone you do not know. Also, gift cards are for gifts, not for paying debts or bills.

• If you are suspicious or have concerns about a solicitation, call your local police or the Office of the Attorney General hotline at 800-441-2555.

• If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. “Sweepstakes” scams have been common for years, so be vigilant and use common sense. If you did not sign up for a sweepstakes, you could not have won.

The Office of Attorney General recommends people be wary of unexpected phone calls or emails, urgent requests that threaten penalties if you do not act quickly and any requests for money or personal information.

Pennsylvanians who believe they have been victims of a scam should file a complaint with the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection by calling 800-441-2555 or emailing scams@attorneygeneral.gov. ••

Farry office hours in Bensalem

State ​​Sen. Frank Farry (R-6th dist.) is offering satellite office hours the first Wednesday of every month, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Bensalem Township Municipal Building, 2400 Byberry Road, Bensalem.

Farry’s staff will be on site to assist with state government services; Property Tax/Rent Rebate applications, birth and death certificate applications, SEPTA Senior Key card registrations and renewals; and unemployment issues. ••

Lower South supervisor meeting schedule

The Lower Southampton Township Board of Supervisors will meet on Wednesday, Sept. 13, at 7:30 p.m., at the Township Building, 1500 Desire Ave., Feasterville.

Future meetings, all at the same times and location, are scheduled for Sept. 27, Oct. 11 and 25, Nov. 8 and 20 and Dec. 13 and 20. ••

Bensalem Council meeting schedule

Bensalem Township Council meetings are generally held on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. in the Municipal Building at 2400 Byberry Road, Bensalem.

Meetings can be viewed live on Comcast Xfinity Channel 22 in Bensalem and on Verizon Fios Channel 34 throughout Bucks County. They can also be streamed live on the Bensalem Township YouTube channel.

The schedule is Sept. 11, Oct. 16, Nov. 13 and 27 and Dec. 4 (budget meeting) and 11. ••

Bensalem school board meeting schedule

The Bensalem Township Board of School Directors holds meetings on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Dorothy D. Call Administrative Center, 3000 Donallen Drive, Bensalem.

Upcoming meetings will take place on Sept. 26, Oct. 24, Nov. 28 and Dec. 19 (third Tuesday).

The public is invited to attend.

The School Board annual reorganization meeting will be held on Monday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. ••

Commissioners meeting Sept. 6

The Bucks County Commissioners will hold their next meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 6, at 10:30 a.m. at the Bucks County Administration Building, 55 E. Court St., in Doylestown.

The meeting will be broadcast on the county’s YouTube channel.

Future meetings will be on Sept. 20, Oct. 4, Oct. 18, Nov. 1, Nov. 15, Dec. 6 and Dec. 20. ••

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