The Taxpayer Relief Act, Act 1 of Special Session 1 of 2006, was signed into law by Governor Rendell on June 27, 2006. The Taxpayer Relief Act provides for property tax reduction allocations to be distributed by the Commonwealth to each school district and the funds must then be used to reduce local residential school property tax bills. Property tax reduction will be through a “homestead or farmstead exclusion.”
To qualify for a Homestead / Farmstead Exclusion you must own the property and reside there full-time. Rental properties are not eligible. You may only claim one homestead exclusion.
To receive this school property tax relief an application must be on file with the Assessment Office. Applications must be received in the Assessment Office prior to March 1 to be eligible for that school year taxes. Applications are good for an undetermined length of time. You will only need to complete a new application in the event that you have moved. Applications will be mailed out by the Assessment Office in December of each year to those properties that have changed ownership. Click here for application.
Frequently Asked Questions About
To receive a homestead or farmstead exclusion on your property, you file an application form with your county assessor. If the assessor determines whether your property is eligible, you will receive the exclusion(s) if they have been implemented by your county, school district, and or municipality. You may apply for the Homestead/Farmstead Exclusion from December 15th – March 1st.
Who can apply for property tax relief?
District residents who live in owner occupied properties can apply for property tax relief. You may only claim one homestead exclusion. Relief is not applicable for rental properties or business properties unless it is your primary residence also.
Why is it necessary to apply?
Property tax relief for owners of homesteads or farmsteads will not come automatically. The owners must apply to have their property designated as homesteads or farmsteads and be approved – in order to qualify.
How exactly will the reductions work on tax statements?
All eligible and qualified property owners in the district will receive a credit known as a homestead/farmstead exclusion. The exclusion will show up on a tax bill as a separate line item under the original assessed value of the property. The exclusion will then be subtracted from the original value to produce a new net assessment
To compute these taxes due, the district millage, or tax rate, will be applied to the new, reduced value of a property. Therefore, the actual property tax reduction will be the difference between the tax rate applied to the new reduced assessment and the tax rate applied to the unreduced assessment
Will it be necessary to re-apply for a homestead/farmstead every year?
Applications are good for an undetermined length of time. You will only need to complete a new application in the event that you have moved or a transfer of ownership is recorded.
If an application is denied, is it possible to appeal?
Yes. Property owners who disagree with the decision of the assessor may appeal to the board for a review of the decision. (Appeal must pertain to application filing, deadline, reapplication or the definition of a property as “homestead property” or “farmstead property.”) The appeal period is July 1st to September 1st.
Can I get a Farmstead if the house is not on the same parcel?
No, the farm buildings must be on the same parcel.