Property tax is an ad valorem (according to the value) taxation on the value of real property. Local tax authorities determine property tax rates in Pennsylvania based on their revenue needs. Rates are expressed as “mills.” One mill is equal to $1 of property tax for every $1,000 in assessed value. The pool of funds then is distributed according to the governing body's designated schedule.
A mill rate is quite like deciding how to split a restaurant check among friends... Let's say that you have a nice dinner out. The bill arrives and there are some options for dealing with a collective check. You could divide the total bill by the number of people and each person pays equal share - but that may not be really fair to all. One person may have ordered the filet mignon and another soup and salad. Maybe the bottle of wine gets divided with the people who shared in the Cabernet. Perhaps the appetizers could be split across everyone at the table. A property tax/millage rate is similar in that some of its costs apply to everyone (like county-wide 911 emergency services) where other items might only apply to people that benefit from it such as the expense of building a new public school. There are varied methods by which governing bodies calculate property taxes according to needs and projections.
So that there are no surprises, it pays to know an estimate of the new taxes you will be responsible for when taking ownership of a home or real estate. Here is a HANDY ONLINE TOOL to estimate levied property taxes. It is my practice to provide an estimate of new property taxes for my buyer clients before they commit to a home. Part of my value to my buyer and seller clients is furnishing information about associated costs with selling or purchasing a property (taxes included.) Feel free to reach out today should you wish to explore more on property taxes or real estate in general. I am happy to advise.