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Apply Now For Farmstead/Homestead Tax Relief

Time is running out for thousands of York County property owners who haven’t applied for a property tax reduction under the state’s Taxpayer Relief Act.

The deadline to apply for the Homestead/Farmstead Exclusion program is March 1, but the York County Assessment Office is advising people to file applications as soon as possible.

People who wait until the last minute could face a one-year delay if application errors or omissions aren’t addressed by the deadline.

To qualify, a homeowner must submit an application designating a property as a homestead, meaning it is the homeowner's primary place of residence.

Farm owners can also apply for farmstead status, which indicates their farm serves as a primary residence.

The Assessment Office must review each application to determine eligibility for the program. Property tax reductions are financed by revenue from the state’s casinos.

Accepted applicants will be eligible for a reduction in their 2015 school property taxes. Reduction amounts vary by school district.

There were 110,818 York County properties approved for the Homestead/Farmstead Exclusion Program for the 2014 tax year, according to assessment records. There are up to approximately 59,000 farms or residential property that may be eligible and have not applied.

“These numbers indicate there are thousands of property owners who may be eligible for this benefit but haven’t applied,” said Rachael White, Assessment Director.

People must reapply if they change residences. Applicants will receive notification by mail regarding the status of their application.

School districts are required each year to send out the applications to the owners of properties not already in the program. However, individuals who close purchases on new homesteads/farmsteads between Oct. 31 and March 1 may not automatically receive the application for the 2015 tax year.

There is no need to reapply for individuals who have not moved from their residence recently and have been receiving the Homestead Exclusion on your school tax bill.

People can call the Assessment Office at 771-9232 to determine if their property is currently in the program. Or, they can check the status online by going to http://gis.york-county.org, selecting “Mapping and Data” and following the prompts to search for the property in question.

Applications can be picked up in the county Assessment Office, which is inside the County’s Administrative Center, 28 E. Market St. in York City, or can be printed from the county’s website, http://yorkcountypa.gov.

People interested in printing the form should navigate to the forms section within the Assessment & Tax Claim Office and select “Homestead and Farmstead Exclusion Application.”

The applications must be mailed or hand-deliver to the Assessment Office before March 1, 2015. Faxes are not accepted.

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