Installment payments of real estate taxes are allowed by state law (Act 1) and were approved for our district by the Board of School Directors.
If you have a question about installment payments that isn't covered below, please contact the district's tax office at 717-566-5311. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about installment payments:
Does Lower Dauphin School District allow installment payments of the school tax due on properties?
Yes. If you elect to pay by the installment option, please note that one requirement of the plan is that you forfeit the 2 percent discount.How do I read my new tax bill?Effective July 1, 2007 Lower Dauphin real estate taxpayers can elect to pay in 3 installments equal to the flat rate. Your new tax bill has 4 parts. The top portion is for you to keep for your records. The bottom 3 “coupons” are to be used when paying your tax. If you choose to pay in installments, you will use all 3 coupons. If you choose to pay on the normal discount, flat, penalty schedule you will use only the bottom coupon and no other. The due dates and amount due are printed on each coupon. The bottom coupon contains dates and amounts for the first installment OR the normal discount, flat, penalty schedule.How do I use the coupons if do not want to pay in installments?Use the bottom coupon if you do not want to pay in installments and want to pay only one payment by paying either the discount by August 31 OR the flat by October 31 OR the penalty by December 31.How do I use the coupons if do want to pay in installments?If you wish to pay in installments, you will also use the bottom coupon for your first installment payment which is also due by August 31. You will be left with 3 portions of the tax bill, 2 coupons and your file copy that you will keep for your records. To make your second installment payment which is due by October 31, tear off the next (now the bottom) coupon and remit your payment by October 31. You will then be left with 2 portions of the tax bill, your file copy and the last coupon. Remember the top portion is for your records. To make your third and final installment payment which is due by November 30, tear off the last coupon (now the bottom) and remit your payment by November 30.How do I let the district know I want to pay in installments?To exercise your right to pay in installments, simply make your first installment payment by August 31. If you fail to pay the first installment by August 31, you cannot pay in installments this year and must pay according to the normal discount, flat, penalty schedule indicated on the bottom coupon and also on the top taxpayer file copyHow do I determine if I can pay under the installment payment plan?The July 1 tax notice that you received will include a tax notice along with coupons to make installments. Please note that the installment payment plan is optional. Taxpayers should review their specific situation to determine whether to pay once or remit their payments using the installment plan.What if my taxes are escrowed?Although the installment method is available for escrowed properties, we have heard from several escrow companies indicating that they intend to remit the full tax due before August 31st to qualify for payment at discount. We expect escrow companies to follow the same payment procedures used in prior years. Please consult with your escrow company to confirm its intentions to pay at discount.Can I make payments on my county, township, and school district bills?At this time, the only taxing body that has authorized installment payments for its regular annual tax notice is the Lower Dauphin School District.Can I pay by credit cards?At this time, the local tax offices are not able to offer this type of payment option.Why do I have to forfeit my discount?Due to the increased amount of record keeping required to authorize and administer a payment plan, the legislation determined in Act 1 of 2006 that school districts entering into installment payment plans were to eliminate the discount on payment plan participants. This allows the school district to offset the additional cost of collecting multiple payments over time, rather than one at the time that the tax notice becomes due and payable. The discount is intended to provide an incentive for payment in full during the discount period.What are the penalties for late installment payments?Second and third installments that are not paid in full by the due date are delinquent and a penalty of 10 percent will be assessed. This penalty has been computed for your convenience and printed on your tax bill. Write your check for the correct amount according to the due dates on the coupons.
A taxpayer who is delinquent by more than 10 days on the second and third installment payments is ineligible for the installment payment option in the following year.