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It’s time once again for my Berks County real estate Property Tax update. If you own a home in Berks County bend over, pick up your favorite beverage and find a comfortable seat. Hopefully, this won’t hurt much.

It’s time once again time for my Berks County real estate Property Tax update. If you own a home in Berks County bend over, pick up your favorite beverage and find a comfortable seat. Hopefully, this won’t hurt much.

The Berks County School Districts have finalized their budgeting, and the numbers are in. The chart shows that all but three of the eighteen districts raised the millage. To understand what this means to you consider the following example.

Berks County School District

2015~16 Millage

2016~17 Millage

Percent Change

Antietam

.0367900

.0377900

+2.718%

Boyertown

.0239600

.0242700

+1.293%

Brandywine

.0323000

.0323000

SAME

Conrad Weiser

.0263230

.0271350

+3.084%

Daniel Boone

.0289600

.0297000

+2.555%

Exeter

.0312500

.0322187

+3.099%

Fleetwood

.0309600

.0318100

+2.745%

Gov Mifflin

.0266000

.0271000

+1.879%

Hamburg

.0264600

.0267100

+0.944%

Kutztown

.0299543

.0299543

SAME

Muhlenberg

.0278100

.0285600

+2.696%

Oley Valley

.0258374

.0263283

+1.899%

Reading

.0174100

.0179300

+2.986%

Schuylkill Vly

.0267900

.0270700

+1.045%

Tulpehocken

.0277000

.0277000

SAME

Twin Valley

.0257406

.0267702

+3.999%

Wilson

.0246000

.0249500

+1.422%

Wyomissing

.0297836

.0300665

+.0949%

If you own a home in the Antietam School District, and your property tax assessment was $100,000 your school tax for the 2015~16 period would have been $3,679. For the 2016~17 fiscal year, you will owe $3,779, or approximately 2.718% more.

Visit my website for information on the municipal and county tax.

Next up is the Pennsylvania Common Level Ratio for Berks County. The short is that it went down which is a good thing.

So what the heck is a common level ratio anyway? If you check out the PA Department of Revenue website and the State Tax Equalization Board (STEB) website it may give you an idea of what it is or it could provide a raging headache. You can visit my website where I have the links available if you desire to research the issue yourself.

I will attempt to cut through the clutter and simplify the answer. The common level ratio is a mathematical way for Pennsylvania counties to avoid having to expend maximum effort and cost completing countywide reassessments. Each county in PA is evaluated on the strength of its home sales. If the data shows a rise in property value, a larger gap between the market value and assessed value emerges. The common level ratio is applied to create a fair playing field. While this is a novel way of doing things it does not stop the million dollar home built in 1750 from having lower taxes than the newly constructed $400,000 property in the same school district.

So how does this affect the average homeowner? Last year the calculated factor was 1.32. This year it will be 1.35 which is 2.2% better than the previous year. The reason is that you are dividing the $100,000 home value by 1.35 instead of 1.32 which is a lower number. If you own a home anywhere in Berks County, and the Market value is $100,000 you should be taxed at a rate of 74.07% which means your assessment for tax purposes would be about $74,000. Last year the CLR would have landed you with a $75,750 assessment or 2.2% higher. The trick is that you have to appeal your taxes to take advantage of the new CLR.

Think this is complicated? Me too. It would just be that much easier if our legislators simply did away with the whole School Tax thing.

You may now assume an upright position and relax. Now, that didn’t hurt much, did it.

Knowledge is Power!

Jeffrey C. Hogue

Berks County real estate property tax update ~ Municipal and County Tax 2016~2017