HARRISBURG (AP) — More than 2.5 million Pennsylvania homeowners will share nearly $612 million in property and wage tax reductions thanks to slot-machine gambling.
The state Department of Education on Thursday released estimates of next year’s reductions for most of the 500 local school districts under the homestead and farmstead exclusion program.
The biggest winners include Chester-Upland School District, where reductions of $641 per homeowner are anticipated. Reductions of more than $500 are expected in the Allentown and York city school districts.
The largest reduction in the Indiana County area is for the Apollo-Ridge School District, where bills will be reduced by $322. Qualifying Blairsville-Saltsburg district tax bills will be cut by $304.
Others in the area, in order of savings, are the Armstrong School District, $293; Homer-Center School District, $212; Marion Center Area School District, $209; Punxsutawney Area School District, $191; United School District, $189; Indiana Area School District, $177; Penns Manor Area School District, $169; Purchase Line School District, $142; and Harmony Area School District, $119.
The average for 41,771 qualifying properties in the region is $235.
In all, the state will share $611.6 million of casino gaming revenue with school districts in 2013-14. Districts encompassing parts of Indiana County will share in $9.8 million to reduce local tax bills.
Reductions for homesteads and farmsteads are calculated before the tax bills are sent to property owners. They do not represent cash rebates or refunds for property owners.
Under the program, the assessed value of the participating homesteads in each district is reduced by an equal amount, cutting the tax. Philadelphia homeowners receive city wage tax reductions instead. Revenue from slots gambling pays for it all.
Homeowners have until March 1 to qualify for reductions in the following year.