MERCER, Pa. -- Approximately 80 percent of Mercer County homeowners have filed applications for property tax cuts under the Act 72 program, which would use gambling revenues to lower property taxes.
Michael DeForest, director of the County Revenue Department, reported to County Commissioners on Thursday that applications have been received on 26,056 homestead and 492 farmstead parcels. He said that while this is about half the county's parcels, it is 80 percent of residences. Rental units and businesses are not eligible for the program.
The deadline to apply for the tax breaks has passed. Homeowners who didn't apply for the tax breaks won't get them.
And the reductions in property taxes would take effect only if the school districts in which the properties are located decide to take part in the program. School districts have until May 30 to decide. However, if they chose to take part, they must raise the local income tax by 0.1 percent.
County Commissioner Olivia Lazor noted that homeowners in school districts that do not opt into the program can put the issue on the ballot.