Pennsylvania offers a program to reduce property taxes on one’s primary residence. It is known as the Homestead Property Exclusion. Chapter 85 (Assessments of Persons and Property) of Title 53 (Municipalities Generally) of the Pennsylvania Code details the program. Refer to Subchapter F (Homestead Property Exclusion) within the PDF below for more information.
Many taxpayers assume that their home’s assessed value should match its current market value. However, this is rarely the case. Instead, the county assessment office determines assessed values as of a “base year.”
The State Tax Equalization Board (STEB) and the Tax Equalization Division (TED) calculate the Common Level Ratio (CLR) annually for each county. The Board reviews recent property sales to facilitate apples-to-apples comparisons of assessed values across the commonwealth.
If you recently purchased a home in Pennsylvania and its assessed value was changed as a result of the sale, you are likely the victim of a spot reassessment. Spot reassessments are illegal in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania Act 319 of 1974 is more commonly referred to as “Clean and Green.” This act allows for large landowners (10+ acre plots) and working farms to receive a reduced land assessment in return for a pledge to keep the land undeveloped. Act 319 (Clean and Green)
Chapter 88, Consolidated County Assessment, of Title 53 (Municipalities Generally) of the Pennsylvania Code is known as the “Consolidated County Assessment Law.” This law authorizes the establishment of the County Assessment Office and provides direction for how it should operate. Consolidated County Assessment Law
The first step in the process is tax assessment. The goal of this step is to assign a fair and equitable value to each parcel in the county relative to the value of every other parcel in the county. The next step is bill preparation. This involves gathering millage rates from the taxing bodies, determining …