Taxpayer Relief Act aka Homestead

The Homestead Act is commonly used as a misnomer, and not to be confused with the Homestead Act enacted by Lincoln in 1862 It is officially known as:

“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 two separate mechanisms to reduce your property tax bill. First each school district, except Pittsburgh, Scranton, and Philadelphia School Districts, is required to conduct a voter referendum in 2007 to determine whether to impose an additional local income tax to be used to reduce property taxes. Second, the Taxpayer Relief Act also provides for property tax reduction allocations to be distributed by the Commonwealth to each school district. Either type of property tax reduction will be through a “homestead or farmstead exclusion.”

Under a homestead or farmstead property tax exclusion, the assessed value of each homestead or farmstead is reduced by the amount of exclusion before the property tax is computed. You are not guaranteed a homestead or farmstead exclusion unless and until an additional income tax for purposes of granting a homestead or farmstead exclusion is approved by voter referendum or sufficient funds have been collected to permit property tax reduction allocations to be made by the Commonwealth. Initial property tax reductions funded by allocations from the Commonwealth took effect July 1, 2008.
To receive school property tax relief for tax years beginning July 1, 2009 or January 1, 2010, this form must be filed by the preceding March 1. Your school district is required to notify you by December 31 of each year if your property is not approved for the homestead or farmstead exclusion or if your approval is due to expire.”

Contact your county Board of Assessment Office to find out more information.  For Montgomery County, the phone number is: 610-278-3761.


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