Specialized Buyers Agent Answers Real Estate Questions
Q. Someone has told us we should apply for a “homestead tax exemption” for our new home. Sounds like something out of the dark ages—what is it? P and S. Solomon, Daylesford, PA
A. Sounds like something out of The Grapes of Wrath, right? Originally, “homestead” laws were passed following the Great Depression to protect the family home from certain creditors. The term has come to have a broader usage, and was applied to the tax relief measures recently passed to take advantage of gaming revenues in Pennsylvania. Many people are not aware of this break.
So the short answer is that it is not that old and it depends on where you live. If your home in Daylesford is in Chester County (T/E or Great Valley School District) and is your “permanent” residence, then you should be able to obtain the exemption.
Under Pennsylvania’s Taxpayer Relief Act (Act 1), which became law in July 2006, school district property tax relief is available to resident homeowners each year that the Commonwealth accumulates sufficient revenue from slot machine gaming. In order to qualify, you must file a homestead/ farmstead exclusion application with the county assessment office and your application must be approved. Questions can be directed to the Chester County Assessment Office at (610) 344-4570.
Most Delaware County Residents also qualify and can check on their status by selecting the “Public Access/Online Services” button of the County’s website at http://www.co.delaware.pa.us/ and typing in the property address.