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Senator Pat Browne


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Senator Pat Browne

Appropriations Committee Chairman
16th Senatorial District

In this Edition of the E-Newsletter:

  • Property Tax and Rent Rebate Program Now Open
  • Protecting Against the Flu
  • Be Prepared for Winter Conditions
  • Track the Movement of Snow Plows
  • Reminder to License Your Dog
  • Protect Yourself from Radon

Property Tax & Rent Rebate Applications Now Available

The 2015 Property Tax and Rent Rebate program is now open and accepting applications. The program benefits Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. The income limit is no more each year than $35,000 for homeowners and $15,000 for renters. Applicants are reminded that when calculating income, only half of Social Security income is included.

Property taxes and rent are two of the largest expenses that individuals and families have to pay each year. This program provides real relief to those qualifying homeowners and renters and allows them to recoup some of their hard-earned money.

The deadline to apply for a rebate program is June 30, 2016.

Applications and information are available by visiting or calling my Allentown District Office (610-821-8468) located at 702 Hamilton Street in Allentown, or by calling my Western Lehigh County Satellite Office (610-366-2327) or my Northern Lehigh County Satellite Office (610-769-5566). Applications are also available by visiting the Property Tax and Rent Rebate section of state Department of Revenue’s website.

Claimants are reminded to bring with them and provide all the necessary income, property tax or rental information – including a rent certificate signed by their landlord – for their claims to be processed accurately and quickly.

Stopping the Flu Starts with You

Vaccination and hand washing are touted as two of the most important elements of remaining flu-free at the height of the season, according to the PA Department of Health. Health experts recommend additional preventive measures including:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or a sleeve when sneezing. Never use your hand.
  • Don’t touch your face, particularly your mouth, nose, and eyes.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces, such as phones, doorknobs, remotes, light switches and countertops.
  • Stay home from work or school while sick to prevent spreading the flu to those around you. Do not return to work or school until you are fever-free for 24 hours, without the use of fever reducing medication.
  • Antiviral medication begun within 48 hours of symptom onset can shorten the duration and lessen the illness’s severity.

Be Prepared for the Winter Weather

The PA Insurance Department has provided some tips to help during the winter months. Unexpected disruptions and disasters can be avoided with a little pre-planning and attention to a few details around your home. Among the leading causes of cold weather calamities are:

  • Freezing pipes.
  • Overflowing gutters.
  • Dead trees and branches.
  • Poorly maintained fireplaces.
  • Expired battery-powered smoke and fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

The PA Insurance Department is also encouraging a review of your homeowner’s insurance policy, typically covering personal belongings, the home and its contents, such as furniture, appliances, rugs, clothing, etc. By downloading Your Guide to Homeowners Insurance, you will find a wealth of information and explanations of factors like replacement versus actual cash replacement.

Renters insurance can protect against the loss of personal belongings due to natural causes such as lightening, windstorm and hail and manmade damages, such as vandalism, theft, failed plumbing and falling objects.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation provides a motorist’s checklist to ensure your vehicle is ready for winter driving conditions:

  • Top off all fluids.
  • Install winter wiper blades.
  • Test the heater and defroster.
  • Check your radio.
  • Examine all lights.
  • Maintain properly inflated tires with sufficient tread depth.
  • Use snow tires in heavily snow prone regions.
  • Consult with a mechanic to check your brakes, battery, hoses and belts. 

Be sure to download a copy of “Ice and Snow-Take It Slow” for an Emergency Travel Kit checklist and winter driving tips to make the best of wintertime travel.

Tracking the Movement of Snow Plows for Ease of Travel

If you are about to set out under snowy conditions and find yourself wondering, “Where is that snow plow?” In-truck technology, known as an Automated Vehicle Location System, will now reveal the location and amount of material each AVLS-equipped truck is spreading, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. More than 700 pieces of equipment on interstates and expressways will be tracked and appear on the Commonwealth’s 511PA app along with marking incidents, events, weather forecasts and winter road conditions.

Check your computer from home or download the free app on your Android or iPhone for continuous hands-free operation while on the road. Motorists may also subscribe to AlertPA to remain abreast of Amber Alerts and other statewide notifications.

Protect Yourself from Radon

Winter is the best time to test your home for radon, a deadly radioactive gas that's the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers in the United States. January is "Radon Action Month," and since your windows and doors are likely to be closed and tightly sealed, conditions are optimal for such testing, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). For more information on radon awareness and protection, visit DEP’s website.

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Contact Senator Browne:

On the Web:

702 W. Hamilton Street
Suite 101
Allentown 18101
Toll-Free: 1-800-280-7728
FAX: 610-821-6798
9 AM to 5 PM

281 Main Capitol
Harrisburg 17120
FAX: 717-772-3458
TTY: 800-364-1581
9 AM to 4:30 PM

Western Lehigh County
Upper Macungie Township Building
8330 Schantz Road
Breinigsville 18031
FAX: 610-366-2329
By Appointment Only

Northern Lehigh County
North Whitehall Township Building
3256 Levans Road
Coplay, PA 18037
FAX: 610-769-5568
By Appointment Only