The vacant trailer at 303 Robin Drive interrupts a tidy row of neatly decorated mobile homes in Windsor Township. A sign posted on the door by a state constable warns the locks have been changed.
A few homes down, 78-year-old Juliann Salamon remembers the day the constable came.
"He lived by himself and worked all the time," she recalled of her neighbor. "He was not a lazy guy, but he got laid off. He was at home, and the constable came and escorted him out. We haven't seen him since."
Salamon's neighbor was one of many York County taxpayers to lose their homes to tax sale, despite being eligible for a program that could have exempted them from paying school district property taxes and saved their homes.
Under the Homestead & Farmstead Exclusion program, slot machine revenue paid into the state by casinos offers discounts of as much as $490 per year on property taxes in York County.
But E. John Fedor, the county's director of assessment, said many homeowners aren't aware of the program.
And homeowners aren't permitted to enroll retroactively, after the taxes are already delinquent.
Under the Act 1 Homeowner Tax Relief Act, property owners are eligible for the homestead or farmstead tax relief if their property is their primary place of residence.
Actual tax reductions vary from school district to school district, based on a state-created formula for distribution of the slot machine money. It ranges from $79 in West Shore to $490 in York City.
Mobile homes: Many of the eligible properties being sold at tax sale are trailers in mobile home parks, Fedor said.
In fact, 26 of 135 parcels sold at a May 24 judicial sale were mobile homes. They are subject to property tax, even if the land on which they sit is leased.
Because of the low value of older mobile homes, some of those sold would have never been subject to tax if the owner had been enrolled as a homestead. The property tax owed would have been less than the relief available from the state.
For example, the 1973 mobile home on Robin Drive was assessed at $1,010, according to Fedor's records. The yearly school district property tax payment would have been less than $179, the amount each homestead in Red Lion Area School District was given last year.
But after years of not paying any taxes, the home went to tax sale because of penalties and back payments totaling $1,010, according to Fedor's records.
"It makes me sick," Salamon said. "I wish I would have known him better. I would have told him."
Many eligible: The phone rings "off the hook" every spring when tax delinquency letters are mailed, Fedor said.
He keeps a stack of tax sale papers on his desk and, out of curiosity, looks to see whether the caller's home is enrolled in the program, he said.
"At least 70 percent of (the homeowners) who called in the past two years are eligible," Fedor said. "They're delinquent for a reason, and in some cases, it could've been enough relief to not to even have school taxes."
Fedor said several factors contribute to the lack of involvement from homeowners. Some voice a religious objection to accepting money generated by slot machines. Others don't realize there is a program, or they're confused by the application.
Salamon, who enrolled in the program after her tax collector told her about it four years ago, said she really didn't understand the "government" language on the application.
"I don't even understand why they're giving it to us," she said. "But I sent (the application) in and I'm glad for it."
To apply, visit www.york-county.org/departments/assessment/HOM_APP1.pdf, or pick up an application at the York County Assessment Office, 28 E. Market St., Room 105.
-- Reach Christina Kauffman at 505-5436, ckauffman@yorkdis patch.com, or follow her on Twitter at @YDYork County.