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Are You Sure Your Property is Tax-Exempt?

Published on

December 3, 2021

Dauphin County’s tax-exempt properties will be subject to a recertification program in 2022 after the county’s commissioners recently approved a measure to examine all tax-exempt properties.

The county said the program is to “promote tax fairness across the county,” where about 22 percent of all parcels are tax-exempt, a percentage the commissioners said is “slightly higher” than neighboring counties, according to a news release from the county.

That 22 percent of the county’s parcels represents about 4,000 total properties.

Owners of tax-exempt parcels will be mailed letters notifying them of documents required for submission to the Dauphin County Tax Assessment Office, which will be administering the recertification. The county will examine the documents to determine if the property meets its official tax-exempt standards.

If the county determines the property is not tax-exempt, the parcel will be put on the county’s tax rolls for 2023, the commissioners said.

The commissioners said the program will launch in February and March of 2022.

There are six categories of tax-exempt properties in the county, and each category has a different set of documents it will need to provide. The county has set up a webpage to let all tax-exempt parcel owners know what documents are required based on what category of tax exemption they possess.

All tax-exempt properties in Dauphin County are expected to receive the letter notifying them of the recertification program, so it would be wise to start gathering the documents the county requires now to be ready. Or just in case the property doesn’t have one or more of the documents and needs to work to get a replacement document.

It’s also not unreasonable to believe that if Dauphin County’s program is successful and results in a large windfall in tax revenue, other central Pennsylvania counties could undergo a similar recertification program. That makes it a good idea for a tax-exempt property owner to always have paperwork current and ready to supply if there are questions about tax-exempt status.

If you are the owner of a tax-exempt property in Dauphin County and have any questions about this new process, please contact me or anyone in the Barley Snyder Real Estate Practice Group.

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