A mill equals 1/1000 of the US dollar, or expressed as a decimal = .001 dollars.
So, if the Assessed Value of all taxable real estate in your municipality amounts to $10,876,234, and your real estate millage rate is 5.0, you would calculate the tax levy as follows:
5.0*.001 = .005
.005*$10,876,234 = $54,381.17
Often you hear people ask: What’s a mill worth in your municipality? To calculate what a mill is worth, simply multiply your municipality’s assessed value by .001. In the example above, one mill is worth $10,876.23.
So where do you go to find out the taxable assessed value of all real estate in your municipality? All counties in Pennsylvania keep this information. Near the end of each year, they produce a “book” which lists all of the property owners by parcel along with the assessed value for each. This book is known as the tax duplicate and is used by your tax collector to prepare the annual tax bills for each property. Real estate bills are paid throughout the year and at various rates. There is a discount period at the beginning of the year followed by the flat rate period then the penalty period. If the bill is not paid by the end of the year, the Tax Collector is required to lien the property. During the year, interim assessment are made as a result of new construction.
With all these discounts, penalties, liens and interim assessments, how do you determine the amount of real estate taxes that will actually be collected?
A simple way to do this is to tract the collection rate over the past few years to determine the average amount collected as a percentage of the original levy (duplicate * tax rate). Then apply this percentage to the current year levy and use the result as the amount budgeted.