Budget Secretary Certifies More Than $779M for Statewide Property Tax Relief

HARRISBURG – Budget Secretary Charles B. Zogby has certified that more than $779 million in gaming revenue will be available for property tax relief in 2014.

The 2006 Taxpayer Relief Act established the Property Tax Relief Fund as a way to use gaming revenue to reduce property taxes for homeowners. The law requires the budget secretary to certify the actual balance in the fund by April 15 of each year and to project gaming revenue coming into the fund in the next six months.

Zogby certified that the balance in the Property Tax Relief Fund is more than $394 million. Gaming revenue from now through Oct. 15 is projected to add about $399 million to the relief fund, bringing the total amount in the fund at that time to approximately $793 million, which includes a projected balance of approximately $14 million in the Property Tax Relief Reserve Fund.

The average statewide property tax reduction for each household is expected to be about $200 this year. Final figures will be provided in early May, when counties report the number of homeowners who have signed up for their share of property tax relief. School districts will receive their share of property tax relief in two equal installments in August and October.

Homeowners in 66 counties will receive reductions in the school property tax bills they will receive this summer. In accordance with the Taxpayer Relief Act, Philadelphia’s share of funding for broad-based tax relief – more than $86 million – will be used to reduce the city’s wage tax.

Zogby notified Acting Secretary of Education Carolyn Dumaresq by letter of the results of his certification. The amount of property tax relief will vary by school district and the Department of Education will notify each school district of its specific level of property tax relief in early May. Under the law, Pennsylvania homeowners will see the property tax reduction itemized on their tax bill, which most school districts will issue this summer.

The amount of property tax relief in each school district will be available online in early May at the School District Property Tax Relief section of the Department of Education website at www.education.state.pa.us.

Gaming revenue also supports the Property Tax/Rent Rebate program. Under this program, older and disabled homeowners with incomes up to $35,000 – and renters with incomes up to $15,000 – are eligible for rebates of up to $650. Supplemental rebates for qualifying homeowners can increase rebates to $975. The deadline to apply for the program is June 30.

Information is available at www.revenue.state.pa.us or by calling 1-888-222-9190.

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