What taxes am I paying?
In the City of Lancaster, owners of real estate pay a property tax to the County, the City, and the School District. Each of these three taxing bodies has a different tax rate that is set by their respective elected officials. The County Commissioners set the tax rate for property taxes you pay to the County; the Mayor and City Council set the tax rate you pay to the City; and the School Board sets the rate for property taxes paid to the school district in which you live (School District of Lancaster, Conestoga Valley, or Lampeter-Strasburg).
How is my property tax calculated?
The amount of property tax you pay is based on the County’s assessed value of real estate property that you own. The assessed value of your property is NOT the same as the market value of your home. The market value is the value of your property if you were to sell it. In most cases, City properties are assessed at a value lower than the market value.
Property tax rates are calculated in mills and are based on millage rates set by the County Commissioners, Lancaster City Council, and the School Board of the School District of Lancaster. A mill is equal to $1 in taxation for every $1,000 of assessed value of your property.
For 2017 property taxes, the millage rates are:
- Lancaster County – 3.735 mills
- Lancaster City - 14.44 mills
- School District of Lancaster - 27.7572 mills (2016-2017 School Year)
Does the City tax my income?
Yes. An Earned Income Tax (EIT) is levied on your income. The rate levied on City residents is 1.1 percent. Of this amount, 0.6 percent is paid to the City and 0.5 percent is paid to the school district in which you live (School District of Lancaster, Lampeter-Strasburg or Conestoga Valley). Your employer typically collects earned Income Taxes through a payroll deduction. Any questions regarding EIT collection, refunds, tax return filing, etc. should be directed to the Lancaster County Tax Collection Bureau 717-569-4521, or you can visit their website at www.lctcb.org.
Don’t I pay a tax for working in the City?
The Local Services Tax is charged on all persons who work in the City and earn more than $12,000 a year. The Local Services Tax is $52 per person, $47 of which is paid to the City and $5 of which is paid to the school district in which you live (School District of Lancaster, Lampeter-Strasburg or Conestoga Valley). You pay the Local Services Tax to the City if you are employed in the City, regardless of where you live. Any questions regarding EIT collection, refunds, tax return filing, etc. should be directed to the LCTCB at 717-569-4521 or you can visit their website at www.lctcb.org.
Can I pay my taxes online? Can I make credit card payments?
Yes. You can pay City Real Estate Taxes at our secure website by clicking on the Pay My City Bills. Please note that online payments include a small convenience fee.
You can also pay any City taxes, fees, fines or utility bills by mail or at the City Treasury Office located at 39 West Chestnut Street. Credit card payments can be made at the Treasury Office without any convenience fee, with the exception of Real Estate Tax bills. Real Estate Tax payments may only be made with a credit card through the City’s secure online payment website.
Are there any tax or rent rebate programs that I should know about?
If you earn less than $12,000 a year, you may be eligible for a rebate of the full amount you paid for the Local Services Tax. To apply for this rebate, contact the Lancaster County Tax Collection Bureau at 717-569-4521 or you can visit their website at www.lctcb.org.
Also, many older adults on a fixed income are eligible to apply for Pennsylvania’s Tax and Rent Rebate program. The Property Tax/Rent Rebate program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians age 65 and older; widows and widowers age 50 and older; and people with disabilities age 18 and older. Eligible applicants can be reimbursed up to $650 for the amount they paid in property taxes or rent. To apply for this rebate, visit www.revenue.state.pa.us/ptrr
Eligible Pennsylvanians can sign up to have Property Tax Rebate/Rent Rebate forms mailed to them or may sign up online at www.state.pa.us, or call toll-free, 888-222-9190.