Bethlehem Press

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

PROPERTY TAX March 1 exclusion deadline nears

Monday, February 11, 2019 by The Press in News Briefs

Individuals seeking relief on this year’s school property tax bills are urged to check their status for homestead/farmstead exclusions before March 1 and apply if eligible.

If a homeowner’s application is accepted, a portion of a property’s assessed value is exempt from the property tax, thus lowering the overall tax bill.

The state is then responsible for covering the difference between the two amounts, using proceeds from gambling revenue to pay the balance.

Many may have already filed applications for the exclusion several years ago when the Homeowner Tax Relief Act was enacted. Applications remain valid for a minimum of three years. Homeowners may want to verify the status of their applications through their county assessment office.

Individuals qualify for a homestead exclusion as long at the property for which they are applying is their primary residence. A farmstead exclusion is also available for buildings and structures used for commercial agriculture production on a farm of at least 10 acres. The farm must serve as the homeowner’s primary residence.

Residents who acquire property in the school district after the March 1 deadline must wait until the following year to qualify for a homestead or farmstead exclusion.

Benefits from the program vary depending on the school district in which the homeowner resides.

The Homeowner Tax Relief Act requires the state distribute a minimum of $400 million in property tax relief, according to a media release from the office of Rep. Ryan Mackenzie, R-134th.

Homestead/farmstead exclusion applications area available through the Lehigh County Assessment Office at 610-782-3038.