All eligible and qualified property owners in the district will receive a credit known as a Homestead/Farmstead Exclusion. The exclusion will show up on a tax bill as a separate line item under the original assessed value of the property. The exclusion will then be subtracted from the original value to produce a new net assessment.
To compute taxes due, the district millage, or tax rate, will be applied to the new, reduced value of a property. Therefore, the actual property tax reduction will be the difference between the tax rate applied to the new reduced assessment and the tax rate applied to the unreduced assessment.
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District residents who live in owner occupied properties can apply for property tax relief. Relief is not applicable for properties used solely for rental or business purposes.
For properties that contain both residential and non-residential portions, the part of the property occupied by the owner may qualify. The Homestead value for these properties will be the amount of the property that is equal to the portion of the dwelling that is used as the domicile of the owner. You are eligible to apply providing you indicate what percentage of the property is used for something other than your primary residence, such as business or Rental in question number 10 on the Homestead/Farmstead Application.
Property tax relief for owners of homesteads or farmsteads will not come automatically. The owners must apply to have their property designated as homesteads or farmsteads-and be approved-in order to qualify.
The school district is required to send all potentially eligible district residents an application along with instructions and a notice of the submission deadline. Open enrollment for Homestead/Farmstead will occur every December 15 through March 1 of the following year.
The County Homestead Office will mail a notice indicating whether or not the application has been approved.
No, there is no fee for the filing or review of the application.
Yes. Property owners who disagree with the decision of the assessor may appeal to the Board of Assessment Appeals for a review of the decision. Appeal must pertain to application filing, deadlines, reapplication or the definition of a property as "homestead property" or "farmstead property." Appeal instructions will be provided with the denial notice.
No. The county assessor cannot require previously-approved property owners to re-apply more than once every three years. It will be up to each individual county to establish rules for re-application.
Residents who move will have to re-apply to have new homesteads or farmsteads qualify for property tax reduction.
LUZERNE COUNTY ASSESSMENT OFFICE
200 NORTH RIVER STREET
WILKES-BARRE PA 18711
Active farming on 10 acres or more. Only buildings and structures on farms which are at least ten contiguous acres in area and used as the primary residence of the owner are eligible for a farmstead exclusion. Land is not eligible for the farmstead exclusion. You may be asked to provide proof that the buildings and structures are used for commercial agricultural activity,such as the net income or loss schedule from your state or federal income tax forms. (Schedule F)