Appeal from the Order of the Board of Finance and Revenue in case of Appeal of Roderick J. Dolan.
Roderick J. Dolan, appellant, for himself.
Robert E. Rains, Deputy Attorney General, with him Gerald Gornish, Deputy Attorney General, and Robert A. Kane, Attorney General, for appellee.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Judge Wilkinson, Jr. did not participate. Opinion by President Judge Bowman.
[ 17 Pa. Commw. Page 600]
Eligibility of appellant for rent refunds for the years 1972 and 1973 under the provisions of the Senior Citizens Property Tax Assistance Act, Act of March 11, 1971, P.L. 104, as amended, 72 P.S. § 4751-1 et seq., in a greater amount than determined by the Department of Revenue to be allowable is the issue raised in this tax appeal which appellant brought and argued pro se.
[ 17 Pa. Commw. Page 601]
The appeal is before us de novo on a stipulation of facts which we adopt and incorporate herein by reference. They disclose that appellant, incident to making a claim for rent assistance for the years in question, executed claim forms which contained written instructions to the effect that claimant-appellant "should," in reporting his income (the amount of which controls the ultimate amount of rent assistance to be afforded), include all types of pensions and annuities. Appellant receives veterans' pension and disability benefits from the Federal Government and was advised, upon inquiry by him, that these payments must be included within the portion of the claim form disclosing income. He included such payments but did so under protest. If his veterans' pension and disability payments had been excluded from his income, he would have been entitled to an additional $55.12 rent assistance refund.
Appellant then sought to file amended claim forms that exclude these items from his income, thereby entitling him to the additional $55.12. Both the Redetermination Board of the Property Tax Assistance Bureau and the Board of Finance and Revenue upheld the Property Tax Assistance Bureau's refusal to accept these amended forms. Having exhausted his administrative remedies, appellant has appealed to this Court.
Section 3(1) of the Act, 72 P.S. § 4751-3, defines "income" for the purposes of the Act and the determination of eligibility for and the amount of rent refund allowable, to mean:
"[A]ll income from whatever source derived, including but not limited to salaries, wages, bonuses, commissions, income from self-employment, alimony, support money, cash public assistance and relief, the gross amount of any pensions or annuities including railroad retirement benefits, all benefits received under the Federal Social Security Act (except Medicare benefits), all benefits received under State unemployment
[ 17 Pa. Commw. Page 602]
insurance laws and veterans' disability payments, all interest received from the Federal or any State government, or any instrumentality or political subdivision thereof, realized capital gains, rentals, workmen's compensation and the gross amount of loss of time insurance benefits, life insurance benefits and proceeds (except the first five thousand dollars ($5,000) of the total of death benefit payments), and gifts of cash or property (other than transfers by gift between members of a household) in excess of a total value of three hundred dollars ...