Pennsylvania's new Homeowner Property Tax Relief Act became effective in September 2004. According to the new law, designated state and local revenues will be used to provide school property tax relief to qualifying homeowners of owner occupied properties located in participating school districts. The property tax relief will be made available when the designated state and local revenues reach specific amounts set by the law and your school district qualifies for participation in the tax relief act by imposing a new or increased income tax.
In order for you, as a property owner, to qualify and receive a property tax reduction two additional things must occur. You must file a homestead or farmstead exclusion application with the Board of Assessment Appeals and your application must be approved. Only your primary residence, the dwelling that you own and live in, can qualify as a homestead. You cannot claim a homestead in another county or state. Also your school district must opt-in in order to receive their portion of the state revenues.
The school district must mail an application to every resident that has not been previously approved by December 31. The deadline to file is March 1 to qualify for the following school year.
If you did not receive an application, you can call the County Assessment office at 610-278-3761 or print an application from the County web site: www.montcopa.org, click on County Offices, Board of Assessment, View more information, Property Tax Relief-Act 72, or click on an application from the choices that appear at the bottom of this page.
The application should be returned to the county assessment office by the stated deadline:
Montgomery County Board of Assessment Appeals
Courthouse P.O. Box 311
Norristown, PA 19404-0311
The assessment office must notify the taxpayer within thirty (30) days if the application is either approved or denied. If your application is approved and your school district participates your property tax relief will appear as a tax credit on future property tax bills you receive from the school district in which you live. Please remember that you can only receive the tax relief when the appropriate state and local revenues are available to fund the program and your school district imposes a qualifying income tax. The state anticipates that property tax relief will initially be available during the 2006-2007 school year.
If you qualify for the Act 72 homestead/farmstead exclusion, by completing this form you are also enrolled in the Act 50 homestead/farmstead exclusion program. Act 50 was past by the state legislature in 1998 to provide for a homestead exclusion for any of the taxing authorities, county, municipality, or school district. Check with your municipality to see if they participate in Act 50. The specifications to qualify for Act 50 are the same as Act 72. The deadline for filing is also March 1 in order to qualify for tax exclusion in the following tax year.
If you have questions regarding your homestead/farmstead application please contact the Board of Assessment Appeals at (610) 278-3761, office hours 8:30 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. Monday through Friday.
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