How much will it cost you to live here this year?

Before we leave 2020 to be officially dissected in the history books, I wanted to follow up on one last thing – the Borough of West Chester real estate tax increase. As I am sure you will recall, in order to meet 2021 fiscal responsibilities Borough Council was forced to enact a six percent tax increase on all taxable property in the Borough. 

The increase is based off the assessed value of the your home, which, thankfully, is not the same as your property value. The example used by the Borough Finance department in the budget, indicated the increase would be roughly $60 for the average resident. This is based on an assessment value of $136,360 – clearly not a property value. So if its not based off of your property value, how do you know what a six percent increase going to cost? You’ll need to know the assessed value of your home.

It was mentioned in one of the budget discussions that the county maintained a website where you could find this information. A little multiplication and you’d have your new tax burden. Well, turns out it’s not quite so easy as that, but with a little help I think I’ve figured out how to do it.   

How to Calculate Your West Chester Real Estate Taxes

Tax parcels as they show on the ChescoViews website.

“I think Michael may have been referring to,” very knowledgeable (and helpful) borough resident Eric Lorgus shared with me via email. While this link is not easy to find – once you have it, the rest is pretty straight forward. 

After you get to the site, select find in the navigation bar and you’ll open a very specific address tool. Fill it out and hit find and your property should appear outlined in red. 

That part is easy. In order to find the tax information you need to hit the little “i” identify icon in the navigation bar then click on the center of the parcel you are interested in. After you do, a parcel results popup box should appear. You’ll want to scroll down until you find total assessment. This is how much your home is accessed for by the county and this is the value you will use to calculate your tax liabilities. 

2020 Tax Liability Rates

West Chester Borough6.9600

For 2021, the millage rate for West Chester Borough will increase to 7.4. 

“These rates are in mills,” Eric reminded me in his note. “If your total assessment was $125,000, multiply that by .0329912 to get your total taxes [for 2020] for all three jurisdictions.”

Calculating Your New Rate

“West Chester Borough’s tax rate is among the higher ones among all boroughs, but the overall tax load for borough taxpayers is lighter than in school districts like Coatesville or Octoraro.”

Eric Lorgus, West Chester resident, vice chair West Chester Historical Commission

To see just how much more you will be paying in Borough taxes in 2021, multiply your total assessment by .0074 then by .00696 and subtract.

In our case, our house is assessed at 173,800 so our tax increase will be $76.47. A little higher than the $60 example, but not crazy higher.

(173800 x .0074) – (173800 x .00696)

1286.12 – 1209.65 = 76.47

“West Chester Borough’s tax rate is among the higher ones among all boroughs, but the overall tax load for borough taxpayers is lighter than in school districts like Coatesville or Octoraro. West Chester also provides many services other boroughs do not, such as trash collection, recreation, and library,” said Eric.

I guess that makes me feel a little bit better. 

Still coming to terms with 2020? Here are a few places you’ll want to include in your goodbyes. And just in case you’re curious, here’s the list of businesses we said goodbye to in 2019.

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