March 1 is the deadline for applying for a homestead exclusion for the 2012 tax year.
The Homestead Exclusion Act (Act 50) is a program that reduces a homeowner’s assessed value by $15,000 for county property taxes only. To qualify, a person must own and occupy the dwelling as his or her primary residence. Homeowners do not have to reapply each year. Once a homeowner has filed, the exclusion will remain in effect until he or she sells or transfers the property or changes occupancy.
In addition, filing and qualifying for the Act 50 exclusion automatically registers homeowners for the School District Property Tax Relief Program (Act 1), which is funded through gaming revenues.
To determine if an application is already on file with the County for the Act 50 and Act 1 tax programs, homeowners may search for their property at www2.county.allegheny.pa.us/RealEstate/. On the "General Information" tab, it will show "YES" in the Homestead field if an application is on file. Homeowners may also call 412-350-4600 to inquire about the status of their homestead exclusion.
New homeowners or those without an Act 50 exclusion may find the application, instructions and FAQs online at www.alleghenycounty.us/opa/act50frm.aspx.
Qualified applications received after March 1 will be applied to the 2013 tax year.