Numbers for property tax relief from slots revenue have been released for the 2014-15 school year.
But with many Yorkers' property taxes projected to rise this year, they might not find much relief in the news that their tax relief will increase by just $1 to $3 in most of the county's school districts.
The low increases are because the state gaming revenue increased by only about $1 million this year to $779 million, said Jay Pagni, press secretary for Gov. Tom Corbett.
Former Gov. Ed Rendell, who rolled out the program to license slot casinos in exchange for generating property tax relief money, said about $1 billion a year would go into tax relief.
But a weak economy and poor weather over this past winter might have had an effect on a lack of growth in the revenue, Pagni said in an April interview.
The relief: Next year, 14 of York's 16 school districts will fall under the state average relief of $200. In York County, the average increased to $173.50, just $3.50 more than this year.
Residents in York City will see an estimated increase of $16 next year, but the York City school district also has the highest property taxes in the county.
Homeowners in the York Suburban, Southern York and Spring Grove Area districts will see an increase of just $1, and most fall in the $2 or $3 range. The relief numbers vary by school district based on factors such as each district's poverty level.
The lack of relief is an issue Kristin Phillips-Hill has heard quite a lot about during her campaign for the 93rd legislative district seat this year.
"I've been knocking on doors and I've heard it (at) just about every other house," she said.
Property tax reform has been a key topic in the race for the 93rd district as Phillips-Hill's opponent, Ernie Merisotis, has said it's the focus of his campaign, too.
From her current term as a school board member for Dallastown Area School District, Phillips-Hill said the past few years have shown tax relief from gaming isn't the amount of aid taxpayers were promised.
What to do: Rep. Seth Grove, R-Dover Township, has said the small tax relief increases aren't a surprise, because gaming revenue doesn't have natural growth without added casinos. Instead, he said, it points toward the need for another solution.
"It's why we need to do something different," Grove said. The legislator sponsored House Bill 1189, now in the Senate, which would allow school districts to collect taxes from sources other than property owners.
To qualify for tax relief, homeowners have to contact their municipality and file for "homestead status," which means the home is their primary place of residence; farmers can do the same things for farms. The tax relief is then automatically deducted from their property tax bill.
The deadline to apply for homestead status is March 1 of each year, but applications will be accepted until March 1, 2015, for the 2015-16 school year. Once a home is registered, the homeowner does not need to reapply.
— Reach Nikelle Snader at firstname.lastname@example.org.