The following information was
sent to residents in the Central Cambria School District concerning the
Homeowner Tax Relief Act (Act 72) where residents may qualify for a
Dear Central Cambria School District Resident:
The Homeowner Tax Relief Act (Act 72) was signed into law this past
July. One of it's purposes is to provide property tax relief to
resident homeowners. The Act will make state revenues from a tax
on gambling profits available to school districts for this express
purpose. It is important for you to know, however, that property
tax relief will not be immediate.
We will hold a public information session
on Monday, March 21, 2005 at 7:00 pm in the Central Cambria High School
Library to answer any questions you have.
offer the following questions and answers on Act 72:
Q - What Is Act 72?
A - Act 72, known as the Homeowner Tax Relief Act, is a new law that
was passed by the Pennsylvania legislature in June, 2004, and is meant
to provide for reduced property taxes for certain Pennsylvania
Q - When Will my Property Taxes Be Reduced?
A - It is likely that the first time you realize a reduction in your
school property taxes will be for the tax bill that is delivered in
July, 2006. However, it could be later than this, depending upon
when enough tax revenue from gambling has been collected by the state.
A school district must "opt-into" Act 72 in order to receive money to
reduce property taxes and homeowners must qualify their property in
order to become eligible for the tax relief.
Q - How Does My District "Opt-Into" Act 72?
A - A majority of the members of your school board must vote to
increase your local earned income tax by 0.1%. They must vote to
do this no later than May 30, 2005.
Q - Is My School Board Required To "Opt-Into" Act 72?
A - No. Whether or not they opt the district into the Act 72
tax system is left to the discretion of the school board. Further,
after 2005, the board or any succeeding school board would have no
ability to "opt-into" the act.
Q - Why Does My School Board Have To Raise My Income Tax?
A - It is a requirement of the law. The school board must use
the money it collects from this new income tax along with the gambling
revenue it receives from the state to reduce your property taxes.
Q - What Is A Homestead Exclusion?
A - This is the method of which homeowners will receive a reduction
in their property tax bills. In essence, the exclusion means that
a portion of the assessed value of a qualifying individual's home will
be subtracted from the total value that is subject to taxation,
resulting in a lower tax bill. Every qualifying property in a
school district that opts into Act 72 will receive the same homestead
exclusion and same dollar amount of tax reduction.
Q - How Do I Qualify For A Homestead Exclusion?
A - In order to qualify your residence must qualify as a homestead
property. You have received a homestead / farmstead application
from the County Tax Assessment Office. You must complete this form
and return it to your County Assessor's Office prior to March 1, 2005.
Q - Do I Have To Reapply For The Homestead / Farmstead Exclusion Each
A - No. You cannot be required to apply for a homestead /
farmstead exclusion more than once every three years.
Notwithstanding, you will continue to receive the tax reduction.
Q - Will The Amount Of My Property Tax Reduction Stay The Same?
A - The amount of tax reduction a homeowner in the school district
receives is likely to vary from year to year. This is determined
by how much state and local money is available, as well as how many
properties become eligible for the property tax relief in your school
Q - Can My Local Income
Taxes Be Raised To Increase The Amount Of Money Available For Tax
A - Yes, but only with voter
approval. In any municipal election (odd numbered years), the
school board may ask the voters if they wish to increase their earned
income tax or convert to a local personal income tax (the same as you
currently pat to the state) for the purpose of further reducing property
taxes through the homestead / farmstead exclusion. Other than the
0.1% increase in the earned income tax, any increase in a district's
income tax must be approved by the voters.
Q - Can The School Board Raise My Property Taxes In The Future?
A - Yes, but with limits. The school board will not be able to
raise tax rates by more than the "index", which is a relative measure of
inflation. Over the previous five years the "index" has ranged
from 2.8% to 3.6%. Any tax rate over the index would require
approval from the voters in the school district. The school
district can go to the court or ask the state for an exception to the
voter approval requirement in limited instances.
Susan W. Makosky, Ed.D.
Should you have any additional questions
about Act 72, please contact Dr. Susan Makosky, Superintendent, or Mrs.
Jennie Ivory, Business Administrator at 472-8870.
Back to Taxes