Reading Your Tax Bill
The passage of Act 1 of 2006 brought property tax relief and a tax payment plan option to Pennsylvania property owners. It also changed the look of your school tax bill. It may be easy to follow along, by referencing this sample tax bill, also accessible through the link on the left.
Illustrated on your tax bill is the gross amount of your taxes, in the box entitled Real Estate Face Tax, and is followed by the amount of tax relief, called the Homestead Tax Exclusion. The final box, Adjusted Face Tax, is the amount you actually owe. The gross amount of your bill is determined by the assessed valuation of your property, multiplied by the district’s millage rate. A discussion entitled “How To Calculate Real Estate Taxes can be found below. Gaming proceeds this year amount to $216.91 per property in tax relief for West Mifflin Area School District property owners. To qualify, you must have an approved Homestead Exemption with Allegheny County. Only one property per owner qualifies for an exemption.
You will receive a tax bill without the reduction if you do not have a Homestead Exemption on your property. To make application for the exemption, click here and print the form. You will need to complete the application and mail to Office of Property Assessments, 400 North Lexington Avenue, Suite LL, Pittsburgh, PA 15208, Attn: Assessor’s Department.
The Tax Payment Plan is indicated by #2 on the sample tax bill. All taxpayers can “spread out” their tax payments rather than making one-time lump sum payments to the Tax Collector. Here’s how the tax payment plan works. You must indicate, by August 31st, if you wish to take advantage of the program. You will need to pay one-third of you bill by August 31st, one-third by October 31st and one-third by December 15th. You will not receive any discounts nor will you pay any penalties so long as you pay by the deadline dates.
How to Calculate Real Estate Taxes
The amount of property taxes that you pay to each taxing body is calculated by multiplying the assessed value of your property by the millage rate set by each taxing body. In practice, a millage rate of 1 (one) mill means that you pay $1.00 (one dollar) in taxes for every $1,000.00 (one thousand dollars) of assessed value. For instance, if your home has an assessed value of $87,400, as in our sample tax bill above, and your school district has set a millage rate of 20.346 mills, your property tax bill would be $1,778.24. Here's how you would calculate your tax bill: First, convert the millage rate to its decimal equivalent to make the multiplication easier. [20.346 mills X .001 = .020346] Then, multiply your assessed value ($87,400) by the decimal equivalent of the millage rate (.020346) to determine your tax bill. [$87,400 X .020346 = $1,778.24].
To take our calculation a step further, this year you have a tax refund of $216.91. How does this affect your assessed valuation? It decreases it by $10,661.06 and is shown on this year’s tax bill. To calculate the decrease in assessed valuation, divide the refund as mandated by the state [216.91 by .020346]. Upon rounding, the decrease in assessed valuation is $10,661.06.
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