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Old August 22nd, 2019, 03:08 PM #1
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Location taxes in PA--we're looking

I tried searching and couldn't find anything specific.

My sister lives in Erie and I mentioned to her our desire to move out of Maryland (for many reasons) for retirement. PA will save me a considerable sum on income taxes. She told me to beware of certain school districts that levy an additional tax on top of everything else. I've heard of this but don't quite understand it.

We want to be no more than 2 hours drive from Frederick where family resides. So Harrisburg to the north, as far as Reading or Lancaster to the NE, maybe Bedford to the NW. Probably a large 1500-2000 sq foot rancher and a couple of acres.

Any ideas where these school taxes might be marginal? Thanks
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Old August 22nd, 2019, 03:12 PM #2
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Generally speaking, you are fine as long as you don't venture TOO far East in Lancaster County. That being said, most of Chester County, particularity around the MD/DE line is insane with "School" taxes. Areas directly West and S/W of Philadelphia, West Chester, almost all of "Mushroom" county, etc.

If it were me, I'd concentrate my efforts in York Co, maybe as far as South Central Lancaster CO. Reading is a hike.....
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Old August 22nd, 2019, 03:15 PM #3
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Generally speaking, you are fine as long as you don't venture TOO far East in Lancaster County. That being said, most of Chester County, particularity around the MD/DE line is insane with "School" taxes. Areas directly West and S/W of Philadelphia, West Chester, almost all of "Mushroom" county, etc.

If it were me, I'd concentrate my efforts in York Co, maybe as far as South Central Lancaster CO. Reading is a hike.....
Awesome, thanks for the guidance.
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Old August 22nd, 2019, 03:19 PM #4
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State College, north of Harrisburg isn’t too bad. One thing is that school taxes change every year. May not have issues this year or next but have a developer come in and suddenly the need for a new school and more taxes. My dad had a house in Hellertown in the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton area for 45 years. School taxes got so high they were bumped out as a separate tax. Then there’s Borough tax, city tax, state tax, recycling tax. True Pennsylvania doesn’t tax retirement income but they get you other ways.
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Old August 22nd, 2019, 03:21 PM #5
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You will save money if you have 10 Acres. Don't be to swayed with the tax rate, it can change.

If your saving money since they don't tax retirement, be happy.
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Old August 22nd, 2019, 03:29 PM #6
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I was thinking of moving back to Pennsylvania also but since my wife and I are now 65 we both get the Maryland senior tax credit and my military retirement exemption has gone up. Not 100% like Pennsylvania. Do we want to move back to “Free America”...hell yes! Someday!
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Old August 22nd, 2019, 03:36 PM #7
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Every township, boro and city publishes their school and property tax schedule and millage rates, they vary wildly, this is York's
https://yorkcountypa.gov/property-ta...age-rates.html

For example, look at Lewisberry(near Roundtop) 1.6 property, 14.69 school vs York city `8.97 property, 33.74 school

So the tax on a $250K house in York City would be $2242/$8435, in Lewisberry would be $400/$3672. MD tax rates vary by locality too, but usually .7-1.5%.
The property values in PA are generally lower, and in many cases two similar houses in comparable areas of PA and MD can be fairly close in actual tax burden. Depending on what you are looking for NW and SE York county is really nice, not as built up as the 83 and 30 corridors and York suburbs, you can find some places that have good property prices, low taxes, and are not far from civilization without being too busy.
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Old August 22nd, 2019, 04:49 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTOGUNNER View Post
You will save money if you have 10 Acres. Don't be to swayed with the tax rate, it can change.

If your saving money since they don't tax retirement, be happy.
From a gross standpoint, it's about $3k on the income tax side of it. How much of that will be eaten by the add on taxes is the hard part to figure out. Just extra calculations for every property we visit.
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Old August 22nd, 2019, 04:59 PM #9
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She may have been referring to the Occupational Assessment Tax that school districts can levy on their residents. Littlestown Area School District (Adams County) had this tax up until a couple years ago. You report your job title, they put you into a tax assessment category, then bill you annually...on top of the school district tax assessed for your property! Fortunately they got a tad smarter and dropped that add on tax and slightly raised the property tax...and reduced my annual complaining about it.
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Old August 22nd, 2019, 06:39 PM #10
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We were taxed to death in PA so we left. Per capita tax in more than one township, occupational school taxes, school tax alone was 6700 the first year (lived on the mountain) with a few millage increases on the house, Emt tax borough taxes, property tax which really wasn't too bad but then there was state sales tax, fuel tax not to mention motor vehicle taxes and probably a few more hidden taxes that I cant remember.
Loved the house(s)and land though but being able to get a carry permit and being able to skip inspection on a landscaping trailer just wasn't enough to do it for me after about 8-9 years.
One buck a year is what really pushed it over the top for me though lol.
Others experience however may vary and good for them. The tell tell indicator will be if you have children and when they become enrolled in school you must provide the deed to your house before they can become enrolled. If you own a nice place, pucker up and get ready to bend over soon as that happens.
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