Below are some common questions that I get asked and their answers:
Q. Does the local tax collector have the authority to change the millage rates or the assessment values?
Q. Can the tax collector forgive penalty amounts on delinquent tax?
A. No. Tax collectors do not have the authority to set the amount of taxes, discounts or penalties incurred on the tax bills. However, there are various programs available that provide reductions for homeowners, senior citizens and our disabled veterans. For more information, see below.
Q. Why do I have three blue school district tax bills and only one yellow borough tax bill?
A. You have three blue school district tax bills in case you would like to pay in installments. The Borough does not allow you to pay in installments.
Q. Can I pay by credit card?
A. No, I only accept cash or check.
Q. What are the office hours of Fay Boland, Tax Collector?
A. Tuesday from 9-12 and Thursday from 12-3 through October 31st.
Q. What is the easiest way to contact Fay?
Q. What if I need a receipt or a bill?
A. Please call or email me. If you leave a message, please leave both a phone number and an email address so I can send you the receipt or the bill that you need.
Q. Why is my assessed value different on the school district bill and the borough bill?
This is because of Act 1, which was implemented when the state legislature legalized gambling. See more about Act 1 below.
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 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.
Q. Why isn't the Homestead Exclusion applied to my property?
A: You must apply under 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 unless your reapply. If you believe the Homestead Exclusion should be applied and have filed your application, contact the Allegheny County Property Assessment Office at 412-350-4636. 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.
Q. 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 Brentwood Borough and Brentwood School District tax millage is set by Brentwood Borough Council and the Brentwood School District Board, respectively.
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 the applicant is the property owner/occupant and 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.
Must be age 60 or older. If married, either spouse must be age 60, OR
Be a widow or widower age 50 to 60 years, OR
Be permanently disabled and age 18 to 60 years.
The applicant must meet the required age by December 31, 2015, to qualify for tax relief in 2015.
Gross household income must be $30,000 or less.
For calculating income, use only 50% of your Social Security, SSI, and Railroad Retirement Tier 1 Benefits (except Medicare benefits).
The deadline to file for relief is July 31.