What Is Property Tax Relief

Property taxes are taxes charged against property owned by an individual or business. In most countries, these are administered at a local level and fall into two categories; real estate taxes and personal property taxes. Property tax relief is any program which diminishes or eliminates the burden of property taxes.

Property tax assessment were reduced only if the property’s estimated value on Jan. 1, 2009 declined below what is known as “Proposition 13 limits,” determined by the assessed value at the time of purchase plus up to 2% each year after that, if home values increase.

Letters were mailed first to those who received reductions, said Robert Knowles, a spokesman for the assessor’s office. Homeowners can check the assessor’s website to see whether their homes were reviewed, but results will not be posted online until early July.

Homeowners who did not receive reductions can appeal to the county’s assessment appeals board until Nov. 30, and if that fails, in court. Knowles urged homeowners to call the assessor’s office before they appeal to see if their case can be reconsidered.

The Pennsylvania Taxpayer Relief Act of 2006 provided homeowners some guarantees. Homeowners in every school district in Pennsylvania can benefit from property tax relief funded by the state from gaming revenues. And homeowners are protected from extraordinary school district property tax increases through a fair referendum requirement for voter approval. The Act also expanded the Property Tax and Rent Rebate Program for seniors.

Improvements to a Residence

If you improve your single family residence by remodeling; adding new rooms, decks, patios or other improvements attached to your home, you may apply for a three-year exemption from taxes on the value of the physical improvement. Physical improvements do not include normal maintenance items. An application for the exemption must be filed with the assessor prior to completion of the project.

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