Amber Martin, Lancaster County Treasurer
WELCOME! Thank you for visiting our website. The Lancaster County Treasurer has a range of duties that is unique in the Commonwealth and is elected to this office for a term of four years. While the County Treasurer does not set tax rates (the County Commissioners have this authority), the County Treasurer is responsible for collecting county and municipal taxes in districts where there is not an independently elected tax collector. Our office does not collect current year taxes for any school district in Lancaster County. If you are concerned about your county/municipal tax bill and unable to pay your tax bill, please contact me to see if there are options available to you. Our office is here to help!
NEW VIRTUAL TREASURER PROGRAM
Tired of driving into the city to discuss your dog license, hotel taxes, or your property taxes? Wish you could virtually meet with our team and pay for services online? We heard you and now you can! In several weeks, the Lancaster County Treasurer’s office will be rolling out our Virtual Treasurer program so constituents do not have to be burdened with coming into our office. Please check back for virtual services and platforms - created to better serve you!
2021 COUNTY/MUNICIPAL PROPERTY TAX DUE DATES:
- By April 30, 2021 to receive the 2% discount
- By June 30, 2021 to pay the base rate
- After June 30, 2021, 10% penalty
IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT 2020 COUNTY/MUNICIPAL PROPERTY TAXES:
UPDATE: Please be advised that the base period due date for County taxes has been extended to November 30, 2020. Please make certain your payment is post marked before November 30, 2020 because all applicable late fees and penalties will be added on December 1, 2020. In addition, Fulton Bank is NOT accepting tax payments at their branch locations due to COVID-19. Please mail your payment to the mailing address noted on your tax bill or pay your taxes online. If you have questions about your 2020 tax bill, please email Amber Martin at: MartinA@co.lancaster.pa.us
In addition, the 2020 Upset Tax Sale has been postponed. If you are currently delinquent on your taxes, please call 717-299-8232 or email Matt Acker at: AckerM@co.lancaster.pa.us
Both the Treasurer and Tax Claim Offices are working full-time to answer your calls and emails. However, in-person visits are by appointment only until further notice.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation.
Treasurer Amber Martin
IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT 2020 COUNTY/MUNICIPAL PROPERTY TAXES:
Dear Lancaster County Property Taxpayers:
First, I hope you and your family are healthy during this uncertain time we are all dealing with. Your Treasurer’s Office has fielded thousands of calls and emails from friends, neighbors, and taxpayers - asking if the County of Lancaster will provide any relief for the 2020 property tax season. In addition, we are receiving a plethora of questions related to the 2020 property tax sales. I want you each to know, that I am listening to your concerns and personally reading every email. I am strongly advocating on the behalf of our taxpayers and I have put forth multiple plans to try and provide County/Municipal property tax relief and to postpone the 2020 Upset and Judicial Tax Sales.
What is currently holding up the 2020 property taxpayer relief?
In short, the law and the tax bill itself. The Local Tax Collection Law outlines the process for how tax bills are to be handled and sets the guidelines for payment dates: base period, discount period, and penalties.
Some good news is members of our Lancaster County delegation are moving Bills in Harrisburg to help! The Senate just passed SB 841.
Senate Bill 841, would take several steps to ensure local governments can continue to operate during the corona-virus pandemic. The bill would:
✅Allow local governments to provide greater flexibility on property tax deadlines.
✅Permit local governments to conduct remote meetings.
✅Give notaries emergency authorization to notarize documents remotely, using communications technology.
Although, the Senate unanimously passed SB 841 – the Bill must also be passed in the House and the Governor must sign it. I will continue to update you as SB 841 progresses towards the finish line.
The second obstacle may prove more difficult than changing state law – however, the Treasurer’s Office is committed to getting this done. Our second and largest challenge stems from how the tax bills are printed. If you look at your 2020 County and Municipal tax bill, you will see that both the County tax portion and the Municipal portion are on the same bill.
What that means?
It means that both the County and all 60 individual municipalities must agree to change the tax due dates and whether to assess a penalty.
Right now, I am collecting resolutions and ordinances from municipalities that are willing to join the County in providing taxpayer relief by:
✅Extending the Base Period to either November 30, 2020 or December 31, 2020
✅Eliminate the Penalty altogether (if 2020 property taxes are paid within 2020) or only assigning the 10% penalty after November 30, 2020 for taxes not received.
Municipalities were given a deadline by April 30, 2020 to respond. The discount period will not be extended but we are doing our best to get the base period extended. I am pleased to announce that I have already received several signed resolutions from our municipal partners - several of which called emergency meetings to pass this resolution!
What happens now?
The County Treasurer’s Office continues to try and get Municipalities to agree to offer specific property tax relief to our joint taxpayers while we wait for SB 841 to become law. To the credit of many of our Municipal partners, they have taken this proposal seriously and are on board!
My Office has presented both the County Commissioners, School Districts, and all our Municipal taxing districts with a draft petition to postpone all 2020 property tax sales (Upset & Judicial Tax Sales). I am in the process of trying to gain consent from all municipalities and school districts, so I may petition the Court. To the credit of President Judge David Ashworth, Judge Ashworth has been receptive to this plan and he has shown remarkable leadership during his very short time as the President Judge.
While I have zero decision making authority over either the proposed extension of the 2020 property tax payment deadlines or the postponement of the 2020 property tax sales, I do have an obligation to our taxpayers to strongly advocate on your behalf. My Office will continue to operate full-time to serve our Constituents, the Residents of Lancaster County – we are here for you during this challenging time!
Some helpful reminders: you will receive a 2% discount on your property taxes if you pay by April 30, 2020.
You can pay online or check the status of your payment at:
If you have any questions, please email me at: MartinA@co.lancaster.pa.us
A fundamental duty is the receipt of county taxes. The real estate tax is the main source of revenue for county government. The county treasurer is responsible for collecting taxes on approximately 130,000 of the 185,000 taxable properties in Lancaster County. Lancaster County currently collects taxes for 40 out of 60 taxing districts throughout Lancaster County. The remaining 20 districts that the County of Lancaster does not collect property taxes, have their own elected tax collectors.
Should a property owner fall behind in their regularly scheduled property tax payments, the Tax Claim Bureau within the Treasurer's Office will work with taxpayers to assist them in meeting their obligations.
The treasurer collects delinquent real estate taxes for the county, as well as for each municipality and school district within the county.
EFFECTIVE MONDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2021…
TO VIEW THE CONTINUED UPSET TAX SALE LIST, READ THE CONDITIONS OF SALE AND/OR REGISTER TO BID, CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW…
(Amounts are NOT certified. Total due is subject to change. Interest
accrues monthly on the first day of a new month.)
Another function of the county treasurer is to serve on the county Employee Retirement Board with the three commissioners and controller. The purpose of this retirement board is to invest member contributions in a fiscally prudent manner so that when employees retire, they will have a steady source of retirement income. There is approximately $250 million for which the board is responsible.
Investing County Receipts
The county treasurer is also responsible for investing county receipts in short to intermediate term investments until such funds are needed for general county operational costs or otherwise properly disbursed. This amount usually approximates $20 to $30 million, but can get as high as $60 to $70 million during brief periods of time.