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Taxpayer Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How is the real estate tax calculated ?
  2. When is my real estate tax bill due ?
  3. When is my interim tax bill due ?
  4. How can I pay my bill ?
  5. What is the Homestead/Farmstead Exclusion ?
  6. How can I get a receipt for my payment ?
  7. What happens if I don’t pay my bill by December 15 ?
  8. How do I change my address on my bill ?
  9. What if I did not receive a bill ?
  10. What is the Tax Claim Bureau ?
  11. Can penalty fees and interest be waived once my property has been liened ?
  12. How do I obtain a tax certification and is there a fee ?
  13. How do I obtain a duplicate copy of my bill ?

1.  How is the real estate tax calculated?

The Real Estate tax is calculated by multiplying the millage rate times the assessed value of the property - Assessment x millage rate = tax (face amount)

The Kennett Consolidated School District tax for a property with an assessed value of $100,000 at the 2009-10 millage rate of 23.9537 mills would be calculated as follows:100,000 X .0239537 = $2,395 (face amount).


2.  When is my real estate tax bill due?
   
The Real Estate Tax bill has three payment periods – discount, face, and penalty.
Discount period is payable on or before August 31.
Face period is payable on or before October 31.
Penalty period is due on or before December 15.

All taxes not paid by December 15 are turned over to the Chester County Tax Claim Bureau  for collection.


3.  When is my interim tax bill due?
     
The time period on which the interim billing is based begins when the improvements are completed or, in the case of new construction, the date of occupancy and is calculated based on the District’s fiscal year which begins July 1 and ends June 30.  The payment due dates for your interim tax will vary from your current real estate tax depending on when the change is processed by the County.   The payment due dates are printed on the tax bill.


4.  How can I pay my bill?
   
Please note that payments must be made for the amount billed.  Partial payments will not be accepted unless you qualify for the installment option.

Make checks payable to Keystone Collections Group and mail to PO Box 529, Irwin, PA 15642

Some mortgage companies use tax services that request electronic files from Keystone Collections Group in order to make payments from escrow accounts.  Contact your mortgage company directly to determine if your tax bill is paid in this manner.   

5.  What is the Homestead/Farmstead Exclusion?
   
The Homestead/Farmstead exclusion is a property tax reduction provided through the Taxpayer Relief Act of 2006. Under a homestead or farmstead property tax exclusion, the assessed value of each homestead or farmstead is reduced by the same amount before the property tax is computed. In order to be eligible for a property tax reduction, you must have applied for and been approved by the county assessment office for the homestead or farmstead exclusion by March 1st.  If you are a new resident or have not previously applied for the Homestead/Farmstead Exclusion, please contact the Chester County Department of Assessment at 610-344-6105610-344-6105.
   
6.  How can I get a receipt for my payment?
   
Please send in a self-addressed stamped envelope along with your payment to Keystone Collections Group at PO Box 529, Irwin PA 15642 for a receipt.

7.  What happens if I don’t pay my bill by December 15?

All taxes not paid by December 15 are turned over to the Chester County Tax Claim  Bureau for collection. 

NO PAYMENTS WILL BE ACCEPTED AFTER DECEMBER 30.

8.  How do I change my address on my bill?
   
Contact Chester County Assessment Office at 610-344-6105610-344-6105 or visit their website at www.chesco.org to obtain a Change of Address Form.

9.  What if I did not receive a bill?

Failure to receive a tax notice does not relieve the taxpayer from liability for the prompt payment of taxes imposed by the taxing district.  It is the responsibility of the property owner to pay the real estate tax in Chester County even though they may not have received their tax bill.  All annual bills are mailed on July 1of each year; tax bills are mailed to the last known post office address of each property owner.

Note:  If there has been a change of address, and this is causing your tax bill to be forwarded to an incorrect address, the property owner must contact the County Assessment Office to complete required forms to change/update the address of record.

10.  What is the Tax Claim Bureau?

The Tax Claim Bureau processes real estate liens against delinquent taxpayers for all taxing authorities within the County. Unpaid tax accounts filed during the first year of delinquency are considered tax claims. Certified notices are distributed to these accounts. When taxes go unpaid for two years, tax sale proceedings are instituted which include notification by certified mail, advertisement, Sheriff's posting and finally, sale if taxes are not paid.   If your property has been liened, your taxes must be paid directly to the Chester County Tax Claim Bureau. 
 
11.  Can penalty fees and interest be waived once I have been liened?

No.   Once a property has been liened, penalty fees and interest can not be waived.

12.    How do I obtain a tax certification and is there a fee?

A tax certification statement showing the parcel number, the property owner of record, and the amount of taxes paid for a particular year.  To obtain a tax certification, please contact Keystone Collections Group at 1-888-328-0565.

13.    How do I obtain a duplicate copy of my bill?

To obtain a duplicate copy of your tax bill, please call Keystone Collections Group, 1-888-328-0565.  If possible, please have your parcel number available.