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Ashley Puchalski Thomas

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Pennsylvania School Districts Required to Adopt Resolutions by January 7, 2023, Pursuant to Act 57 of 2022

Ashley J. Puchalski, apuchalski@tuckerlaw.com, (412) 594-5509

Act 57 of 2022 amends the Pennsylvania Local Tax Collection Law and requires School District Tax Collectors to waive additional charges for taxpayers who did not receive notice of real estate taxes when a property or mobile home transfer took place within the previous twelve (12) months.

On July 11, 2022, Governor Wolf signed into law Act 57 of 2022 (“Act 57” or “the Act”), which amended the Local Tax Collection Law, 72 P.S. §§ 5511.1 et seq. (“LTCL”), to provide for the effect of failure to receive tax notice when a property or mobile home transfer has taken place within the previous twelve (12) months. Prior to Act 57, a taxpayer who claimed they did not receive notice of their real estate taxes was not relieved from paying the penalty, fee, interest, or other charges that may have accrued as a result of their failure to pay in a timely manner. 

Act 57 was passed to address situations when property is sold immediately after a taxing period begins (July 1 for most school districts).  If the school district’s tax bill is already printed and is addressed to the previous owner prior to the date that a school district receives notice of the property transfer, the tax bill will be mailed to the previous owner rather than the new property owner. Accordingly, the new owner will likely never receive the original tax bill and will only receive a notice that the taxes have become delinquent.

Act 57 went into effect on October 11, 2022, and requires Pennsylvania school districts (except school districts of the first class, or a school district in a city of the second class A) to adopt a resolution within ninety (90) days of the effective date. Accordingly, such resolutions must be passed by January 7, 2023, requiring the school district tax collector to waive additional charges for real estate taxes beginning in 2023-2024 tax year if a taxpayer meets the requirements set forth in the Act. The resolution must require the school district’s Tax Collector to automatically waive a penalty for taxpayers who have purchased a home within twelve months and have not received their tax bill in the mail.  This only allows for waiver of penalty so that taxpayers are able to pay in face, it does not allow for taxpayers to benefit from the discounted amount.

Taxpayers must do all of the following in order to qualify for the waiver: (1) attest that notice was not received; (2) provide proof of property transfer to the Tax Collector, within the specified time frame (previous 12 months). Proof can be shown by providing the tax collector with a copy of deed showing the date of the real property transfer or by providing the tax collector with a copy of the title following acquisition of a mobile or manufactured home or an executed lease agreement between the owner and lessee showing the date on which the lease began; (3) provide a waiver request to the Tax Collector on the standardized waiver request form that will be created and distributed by the Department of Community and Economic Development; and (4) payment of taxes must accompany the waiver request. Furthermore, Tax Collectors cannot be held liable for any amount arising from the acceptance of a Good Faith payment in accordance with the Act.

For more information, contact Ashley Puchalski at apuchalski@tuckerlaw.com, (412) 594-5509.

December 07, 2022

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