Allegheny County, PA - Frequently Asked Questions

How much can you save if you win a lower assessment? Use the Allegheny County property tax and assessment calculator

Q. Does the local tax collector have the authority to change the millage rates or lower the property taxes?

A. No

Q. Can the borough or township tax collector forgive penalty amounts on delinquent tax?

A. The answer is no, the tax collector just collects the property taxes. The tax collectors do not have the authority to set the amount of taxes, discounts or penalties incurred on the tax bills. You should know however, there are various programs that provide reductions for homeowners, senior citizens and our disabled veterans. Homestead/Farmstead Exclusion (Act 50)

Q. What is the Homestead Act, and do I qualify?

A: The Homestead Act (Act 50) is a program that reduces your "market value" by $20,000 for the Allegheny County property taxes. To qualify for the Allegheny County Homestead Act, you must be the owner of the property and occupy the dwelling as your primary residence.

The application deadline is March 1 of each year. You do not have to reapply once your application is approved. Once you have filed, your exemption will remain in effect until you sell/transfer the property or change your occupancy. In addition, if you have previously filed and qualified for the Act 50 exclusion, you are automatically registered for the Act 1 program.
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Animated cartoon of thief with pile of moneyQ. Why isn't the Homestead (Act 50) applied to my property?

A: You must apply for the Act 50 if you purchase a property. Additionally, if there is a name change to your deed, you must file a new Act 50 application. For example, if you transfer your deed to your maiden name, the Allegheny County Homestead Exclusion will be removed at the end of the year. You must reapply for the Homestead Exclusion. If you believe the Homestead Exclusion should be applied and have filed your application, contact the Allegheny County Treasurer's Office at 412- 350-4100. You also must have applied, filed and been qualified by March 1st of the current tax year in order for Act 50 to be applied to your eligible tax statements for the current tax year.

Stack of papersQ. Do I have to apply every year for the Homestead Exclusion?

A: No, you don't have to apply again if you remain the property owner, you haven't filed a deed transfer, and it continues to be your primary residence.

Q. Can a homeowner have more than one Homestead Exclusion?

A: No, a homeowner is eligible for the Homestead Exclusion only for his/her primary residence. Any other Homestead Exclusions will be removed, and the owner is subject to interest, penalties and fines up to $2,500.

Q. Who sets taxation rates?

A: The county tax millage is set by Allegheny County Council. School tax rates are set by local school boards.

Municipal tax millages are set by individual municipalities through either the Board of Supervisors or Borough Council.
Use the following links to find your millage rates:
Borough & Township Tax Millage Rates
School District Tax Millage Rates

Q. How do I calculate my taxes?

A: The Allegheny County tax calculation page will help you understand "mills" and the calculation of the property taxes in Allegheny County

How do I search for my Allegheny County assessment? The first step in calculating the property tax in Allegheny County, PA, is to find the assessment for the property. The Assessment Search Tutorial will thoroughly explain the procedure of searching the property assessment on the Allegheny County web site.

Senior Citizen Property Tax Relief Program

This program entitles all qualified applicants in Allegheny County to a flat 30% discount of the property tax on their primary residence for each year they are eligible. Qualified applicants will also receive an additional 2% discount by paying their county taxes in full by May 31. A second payment option allows eligible taxpayers (if they choose) to pay their gross county taxes in two equal installment payments, the first payment due by July 2 and the second payment by October 31.

Once approved, a qualified applicant continues to receive tax relief as long as applicant is the property owner/occupant, and the household income does not exceed $30,000. Applicants are no longer required to file annually. Some Allegheny County municipalities offer a similar discount to the local property tax if the applicant meets the county requirements'.

To be eligible for Senior Citizen Property Tax Relief Program, the applicant must meet all three requirements:

1. Property Ownership:
Must have owned and occupied a primary residence in Allegheny County continuously for the past 10 years. A home owner who has moved within the past 10 years, and has continued to own and occupy the new property as a primary residence shall be eligible.

2. Age:
Must be age 60 or older, or if married either spouse must be age 60, or
Be a widow or widower age 50 to 60 years, or
Permanently disabled and age 18 to 60 years
The applicant must meet the required age by December 31, 2013, to qualify for tax relief in 2013.

3. Income:
Gross household income must be $30,000 or less.
For calculating income use only 50% of your Social Security Benefit, SSI, and Railroad Retirement Tier 1 Benefits (except Medicare benefits).

PDF Application for Senior Citizen Property Tax Relief Program
The deadline to file for relief is July 31.

Remember all the hype about legalizing gambling in Pennsylvania; and how it was going to lower our property taxes? How much did you save? Proceed to the School Tax Rates page.