Contact Information 
District Offices
236 Locust Street
Columbia, PA 17512

Phone: (717) 684-5525
Fax: (717) 684-2538

222 S. Market Street, Suite 103
Elizabethtown, PA 17022
Phone: (717) 367-5525
Fax: (717) 367-6425

Capitol Office
43A East Wing
PO Box 202098
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2098
Phone: (717) 783-2076
Fax: (717) 787-9175
 
Will the Important Property Tax Reform Vote Help You?
Many residents have reached out with questions regarding the opportunity voters will have in November to pursue property tax reform.

Currently, the state Constitution only permits local governments – counties, municipalities and school districts – to exclude up to 50 percent of the median assessed home value in a school district from a homeowner’s tax bill. However, with a successful vote in November, this homestead exclusion could be increased to 100 percent of primary residences.

For example, under the current homestead exclusion, if the average home value in your school district is $100,000, up to $50,000 can be excluded from your tax bill if your school district elected the full 50 percent exclusion rate. If the value of your home is assessed at $150,000, your local property tax rate would only be applied to $100,000 of that value.

With the change, your entire home value could be excluded from your tax bill as early as next year. Local governments would still be responsible for establishing exclusion amounts for homesteads within each district. However, they would no longer be required to cap the property tax relief that is offered. As a result, homeowners would only be responsible for paying taxes on the value of their homes that exceeds the exclusion amount chosen by their local governing body.

As this constitutional amendment would provide more flexibility for local taxing jurisdictions, it could be used to more appropriately choose revenue streams to balance the decrease in funding produced by property taxes in each school district – as opposed to choosing a single solution for all of the Commonwealth.

It would give school districts the option to offer more substantial property tax relief. It does not, however, require school districts to reduce property taxes or dictate how it’s to be done.

Local revenue options to fund the homestead exclusion currently include increases in the Earned Income Tax (EIT) or Personal Income Tax (PIT). Localities may be provided with additional choices, like local sales tax, if this constitutional amendment is approved by voters in November.

Because school boards would be responsible for determining what changes, if any, to make, specific details are not yet available regarding revenues that might be used to provide additional property tax relief through homestead exclusions. However, retirees living in their own homes are expected to see the greatest relief as they would be unaffected by EIT or PIT funding options.

This property tax relief would only apply to homesteads and farmsteads and would not extend to vacation homes, rental homes or businesses.

The vote in November will give Commonwealth citizens the power to decide if they want local governments and school districts to have the option of implementing other taxes instead of the property taxes that are currently used to fund their operations. I encourage all Pennsylvanians to vote in November and make their voices heard.