Tax Collector Manual

The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) produces a Tax Collector Manual for PA tax collectors. As of this writing, the manual is available from their website at the following URL: Unfortunately, the state website’s URLs are constantly changing. The above link could go dead at any time. For that reason, I’m …

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Homestead Property Exclusion

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.

Record Retention Law

You can’t save every record forever. But you can’t just get rid of stuff you don’t want whenever you feel like it. To maintain your sanity, you should follow Pennsylvania’s record disposition schedule. And to stay out of legal trouble, you also need to follow the proper steps before destroying any records.

Base Year

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.