The Dauphin County Office of Tax Assessment is primarily responsible for the valuation of real property for ad valorem (at value) tax purposes, including the management of all property characteristic and ownership records. This office does not establish the real estate tax levy; it is responsible for the valuation (commonly known as the assessment) of all real property in Dauphin County. Based on those assessments, the County, municipalities, and school districts establish budgets and necessary millage rates to generate revenue, apply those millage rates to individual property assessments, thereby producing individual property tax levies. The Office of Tax Assessment also administers the Homestead and Farmstead Exclusion Program (Act 50 & Act 1), the Tax Deferral Program (Act 50), and the Clean and Green Preferential Assessment Program (Act 319, as amended). This office is further responsible for the production of tax duplicates, resulting in the preparation and delivery of County and municipal real estate tax notices in accordance with contracts with 39 municipalities within Dauphin County.
The Tax Claim Bureau is responsible for the collection of all delinquent real property taxes on behalf of the County, municipalities, and school districts located in Dauphin County. In this statutory collection process, the Bureau receives unpaid accounts from the 40 municipalities, via tax collectors and/or treasurers within Dauphin County, provides statutorily mandated notices to owners, and administers Upset Tax Sales, Judicial Tax Sales, bankruptcies, and the repository of unsold properties. The Bureau also provides various tax certifications regarding paid and unpaid delinquent taxes as requested.
The Dauphin County Board of Assessment Appeals is an independent Board, authorized by statute and appointed by the County Commissioners, established for the primary purpose of hearing assessment appeal valuation cases. When there is a dispute over the real property assessment (value), it is the responsibility of the Board of Assessment Appeals to hear testimony from all parties regarding the property value and make a finding as to the market value which is utilized for assessment purposes.