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What is the Homestead Exemption?

What is the Homestead Exemption?

Not everyone knows about the Homestead Exemption.  If you own your primary residence, and reside there full-time, you are eligible for the Homestead Exemption on your real estate tax. The Homestead Exemption reduces the taxable portion of your property’s assessed value.

In the county of Philadelphia, if you qualify for the Homestead Exemption, the assessed value of the property is reduced by $45,000. Most homeowners will save $629 a year on their Real Estate Tax bill.

The Homestead Exemption amount does vary by county.  For instance, in Montgomery County the Homestead Exemption reduces your assessed value by $30,000.  

Do I qualify for the Homestead Exemption?

There are some people who are not eligible.  In Philadelphia County, property owners with a 10-year residential tax abatement are not eligible. You may apply after the abatement expires. 

However, you may be eligible for a conditional Homestead Exemption if your name is not on the property’s deed. This may be because:

  • You inherited the house from a deceased relative.
  • A fraudulent mortgage or deed was recorded for your house.
  • You entered into a rent-to-own agreement and have paid all or some of the sale price for the house.

For the most part, if you are a homeowner you will qualify for the Homestead Exemption. 

When Should I Apply?

In Philadelphia, the final deadline to apply for the Homestead Exemption is December 1 of each year. Early filers should apply by September 13, to see approval reflected on their Real Estate Tax bill for the following year. Applicants approved after September 13 date will receive a second bill with an adjusted amount due.

How do I Apply?

If you’re applying for a conditional Homestead Exemption in Philadelphia, you must submit:

  • A paper application with your name on it. Write “Tangled Title” at the top of the application.
  • A completed and signed Homestead Affidavit.
  • Two forms of identification or proof of address. These documents must show your name and the address of the property you’re seeking an exemption for. We accept:
    • Government-issued ID:
      • Photo IDs issued by the U.S. federal government or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
      • Valid U.S. passport
      • U.S. military ID
      • Government employee photo ID
    • Utility bills from within the last six months (PGW, Water, PECO, or cable)
    • Voter registration
    • Lease or rent-to-own agreement
    • Mortgage agreement

Other County's Resource Pages for the Homestead Exemption:

Montgomery County Website

You may obtain a copy of the application here or at the Board of Assessment Appeals office or website. This application may be used for both the Act 1 homestead program and the Act 50 homestead program if your local municipality has adopted it. Only one application needs to be filed for both programs but please note an Act 1 application must be mailed by March 1st and an ACT 50 application must be mailed by December 15th .If you have questions regarding your homestead/farmstead applications please contact the Assessment Office at 610-278-3761, office hours 8:30 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Delaware County Website

In Delaware County, the filing deadline for qualified applicants to receive consideration for a Homestead exemption for property taxes is March 1. Residents can only apply through their school district during the open enrollment period, which occurs every December 15 through March 1 of the following year. There is no application fee.

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