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 the 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 â€œhomestead or farmstead exclusion.â€
Under a homestead or farmstead property tax exclusion, the assessed value of each homestead or farmstead is reduced by the amount of the 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. If an additional income tax is approved by the voters at the 2007 referendum, initial property tax reductions funded by this mechanism will take effect July 1, 2007. Initial property tax reductions funded by allocations from the Commonwealth may not take effect until at least July 1, 2008.
To receive school property tax relief for tax years beginning July 1 or January 1, 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.