Residential Property Tax Relief Could Be On Its Way to Philadelphia

All in favor of residential property tax relief, raise your hand! And, if you own an eligible home in the City of Philadelphia, apply now. The City is offering its residential homeowners the opportunity to apply for a Homestead Exemption. The Homestead Exemption would reduce the assessed value of an eligible home by $15,000 or more, and consequently lower the real estate taxes owed by the homeowner because the homeowner would pay real estate tax only on the reduced assessment.

Applications are due by July 31, 2012 in order to receive relief during the 2013 tax year. An exemption granted for any application received after July 31, 2012 will relate to the 2014 tax year. Once an exemption application is filed and approved, the homeowner does not need to reapply each year unless the deed for the property changes. There are no age restrictions or income restrictions for this opportunity. The Homestead Exemption only applies to the homeowner’s primary residence. The Office of Property Assessment determines whether a property is the homeowner’s primary residence, examining several factors, including the addresses on the homeowner’s federal tax filings, driver’s license and vehicle registration. Rental units and vacation homes are not eligible for this opportunity. If, however, a portion of the homeowner’s primary residence is used as a business or a rental property, an eligible property could still receive partial tax relief. The application form can be completed online. The form and additional information can be found on the City’s website. It is important to note that in order for the Homestead Exemption (and this real estate tax relief) to become effective, both the City and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will need to enact enabling legislation.

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