The Adams County Tax Assessment Department is responsible for maintaining the tax assessment roll that is used by the taxing bodies in the County. The office carries out the policies set by the Board of Assessment Appeals, which is made up of the Adams County Commissioners. Adams County is a sixth-class county and follows the Fourth to Eighth Class County Assessment Law. There are approx. 116,000 accounts on the real estate, per capita and occupation rolls. The County's assessment records are public information and accessible via computer terminals on the 2nd floor of the Courthouse. Records are accessible by a variety of key elements including name, property address, mailing address, parcel number, deed reference, etc.
One of the tools the County has to maintain the real estate assessment rolls is the issuance of the Adams County Construction Permit. The County requires a construction permit for new construction, additions, alterations and improvements with a value of $2,500 or more and when a mobile home is moved into a municipality within the County. Construction permits may be obtained in the Assessment Department at the cost of $10.00.
The Assessment Department is charged with the responsibility of administering the Clean and Green Program in the County. The Clean and Green Program is a preferential assessment program governed by State Law, requiring that properties enrolled in the program receive a land assessment based on land use values, not the market value of the land. A property owner may enroll and qualify for Clean and Green under one or more of the following uses:
Agricultural Use: Land which is used for the purpose of producing an agricultural commodity, such land was devoted to agricultural use the preceding three years and is not less than ten contiguous acres in area or has an anticipated yearly gross income of at least $2000 or when devoted to and meets the requirements and qualifications for payments or other compensation pursuant to a soil conservation program under an agreement with an agency of the Federal Government.
Forest Reserve: Land, ten acres or more, stocked by forest trees of any size and capable of producing timber or other wood products.
Clean and Green Facts:
To apply for Clean and Green, you must contact the Adams County Tax Assessing Office, located in the County Courthouse.
The annual application cycle deadline is June 1st, effective for the following January 1st taxes.
The landowner will realize a reduction in their real estate taxes.
Subdivision of a property in Clean and Green is allowed under VERY specific circumstances, and should be researched carefully prior to any subdivision action and division of the land by deed.
When a property owner enrolls under Clean and Green, they promise to use the land for one of the allowable uses and not develop the land, in exchange for a reduced assessment. If they violate the rules of the program by changing the use of their property to one that is unaccepted by the program or split off more land than allowed by the program, they are responsible for roll-back taxes, which includes 6% interest penalty. This tax is calculated based on the length of time the property received the preferential tax assessment, not to exceed seven years. Applications are available in the Assessment Department.
Per Capita Tax Roll
Each Adams County resident, eighteen years of age or older, are listed on the per capita tax rolls and liable for per capita taxes levied by the taxing bodies. There are 70,600 taxpayers listed on the per capita rolls. The County levies a $5.00 per capita tax, 31 out of the 34 townships and boroughs levy the tax, ranging from $2.00 to $10.00 and 4 of the 6 school districts in the County levy a $10.00 per capita tax.
The County is also responsible for the occupation assessment roll. Fourth to Eighth Class County Assessment Law requires counties to set occupation assessments based on the occupation, calling or job title of an individual. In Adams County, occupation assessment ranges from "0" to "800" depending on one's job title. The taxing bodies set tax rates to levy occupation taxes. These rates are set in the form of percentage or millage rates. There are 8 of the 34 townships and boroughs that levy the tax. One school district (Littlestown School District) in the County levy the tax with a rate of 100%. The County employs assistant assessors to update the occupation and per capita rolls. These employees gather the information by mail, telephone, or personal visits to the resident's home, They also gather school census for the County's 6 school districts. The County and school districts share the costs of employment for these individuals. Although the County is responsible for setting occupation assessments, we do not levy an occupation tax. Example: Occupation Assessment is 300 X 100% = $300.00 Occupation Tax.
The Assessment Department prints the tax notices and duplicates for the County, townships, boroughs and school districts in the County. The tax notices are mailed and collected by the local elected tax collectors in each municipality. The County and township/borough tax year is January 1st through December 31st, with tax notices being mailed on March 1st. The school tax year begins July 1st through June 30th of the following year. School tax notices are mailed July 1st. Interim taxes are levied by the taxing bodies based on assessment increases of improvement or building values. These tax notices are mailed during the tax year after assessment notices are mailed to taxpayers reflecting the additional assessment triggered by improvement(s) added to the property.
County of Adams
Tax Assessment Office
Gettysburg, PA 17325
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