Pittsburgh, January 12, 2011 – State Sen. Wayne D. Fontana (D-Allegheny) today announced that his office stands ready to assist property owners in determining whether they need to do anything further to receive property tax relief. Recent news reports have indicated that hundreds of thousands of people may not have filed the homestead exemption that makes them eligible to receive that relief.

“In Allegheny County, we are lucky to have the majority of our homeowners already registered for the homestead exemption because of other relief programs that have been offered in the county for years,” said Fontana. “If you’re unsure whether you have applied, you can contact my office or visit my website for quick answers and, if necessary, to get the appropriate paperwork to file for the exemption.”

Homeowners, who use their home as their primary residence, have the opportunity to apply for a homestead exemption on that property that makes them eligible for property tax relief from gaming revenues. Under the Gaming Act, property tax relief money for individuals who have a homestead is sent directly to the school district and is credited against your school property tax bill.

“We don’t want any homeowner to miss out on this relief, but we also don’t want everyone worrying that they need to file something or they will lose the relief. If you have filed for a homestead on your property at all, it remains on that property and there is no need to re-apply. Although it can be confusing, my staff can walk you through the process and help you find out if there is anything that you need to do.”

The Senator’s website, www.senatorfontana.com, also contains a page that provides detailed information on property tax relief and homestead exemptions. It contains information and links to help homeowners determine for themselves whether they already have a homestead and provides links to the application for those who do not.
In order to receive property tax relief from your school district this year, your homestead exemption application must be filed by March 1st.