Taxes billed by the Township include the Real Estate Tax, Realty Transfer Tax, Business Privilege Tax, Mercantile Tax, Local Services Tax, Amusement Tax, and Earned Income Tax.
Township Real Estate Tax
All owners of taxable real property in Plymouth Township (vacant land or residential, commercial, and other structures) are subject to a real estate tax each year. An owner of tax-exempt real property - such as a church, university, or public utility - generally is not subject to the real estate tax . There are three taxing jurisdictions to which Plymouth property owners pay the real estate tax: Plymouth Township, Colonial School District, and Montgomery County. The real estate tax is based on a millage rate levied each year by the respective governing bodies of those jurisdictions. The Plymouth Township real estate tax is set by the Township Council in December each year as part of the annual budget process; the School District tax is set each spring by the Colonial School Board; and the County tax is set each December by the Montgomery County Commissioners. For current millage rates, contact the tax office.
One mill of real estate tax is equal to one dollar for each $1,000 of a property’s assessed value. To figure the real estate tax owed for a given year,multiply a property’s assessed value by the millage rate (expressed as mills x .001).
The real estate taxes paid to Plymouth Township cover a comprehensive array of quality services such as police, highway maintenance, street lights, sanitation, snow and ice removal, parks and recreation programs and code enforcement.
Residents who pay their current year’s Township property tax by April 24 receive a 2% discount, while Township taxes paid after June 24 are subject to a 10% penalty. If a Plymouth property owner does not pay their Township tax by December 31, a lien will be placed against the property until the delinquent taxes are paid. The property could also be subject to a Sheriff’s Sale to the public.
Under the Plymouth Township Home Rule Charter, the Finance Director is responsible for collecting the Township’s real estate tax. For more information about your real estate tax bill, please contact the Plymouth Tax Office at 610-277-4100.
Realty Transfer Tax
Plymouth Township collects a tax on all real property transferred from one owner to another. This realty transfer tax is paid at closing and is imposed on transactions where, according to state law, "there is a real transfer of beneficial interest." The transfer tax is exempt in transfers of property by legal Wills, between specified family members, in sheriff sales, and to nonprofit conservancies, housing corporations, and government agencies. The total transfer tax on all real property sold in Plymouth Township is 2.0% of the sale price. 1.0% is levied by and goes to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (generally paid by the buyer), .5% goes to Colonial School District, and .5% goes to Plymouth Township (the latter two generally paid by the seller).
Business Privilege Tax
The Business Privilege Tax (BPT) is a business gross receipts tax levied by Plymouth Township for the privilege of doing certain types of business in Plymouth.
The BPT applies to the gross receipts of all businesses and persons engaged in business in Plymouth Township except those of businesses subject to the Mercantile Tax or businesses that fall under the manufacturing or other allowable exclusions or that are subject to gross receipts taxes for services rendered under certain conditions in other municipalities.
For purposes of the BPT, business is defined as any activity carried on for gain or profit including, but not limited to, the performance of services. All businesses, trades, and professions where any service is offered to the public or other businesses are liable for payment of this tax, except as described above. Businesses subject to the BPT generally include professions such as insurance agents, real estate and stock brokers, doctors, lawyers, financial consultants, auto mechanics, etc.
Businesses subject to the BPT are required to pay a tax to Plymouth Township each year equal to 1.5 mills, or $1.50 for every $1,000 in gross receipts. In addition each business must pay an annual $25.00 business license fee. BPT returns are required to be filed with the Township’s Tax Department by April 15 each year. Failure to file a BPT return or to pay any taxes due can lead to citations, fines, and suspension of the privilege to do business in Plymouth Township.
The Mercantile Tax (MT) is a business gross receipts tax levied by Plymouth Township upon the privilege of doing certain types of business in Plymouth.
The MT applies to the gross receipts of all businesses and persons engaged in business in Plymouth Township except those of businesses subject to the Business Privilege Tax or businesses that fall under the manufacturing or other allowable exclusions or that are subject to gross receipts taxes for applicable sales made under certain conditions in other jurisdictions.
For purposes of the MT, business is defined as any activity carried on for gain or profit including, but not limited to, the sale of merchandise either at wholesale or retail. All businesses, trades, and professions where any merchandise is offered to the public are liable for payment of this tax, except as described above.
Businesses subject to the MT are required to pay a tax to Plymouth Township each year equal to 1.5 mills, or $1.50 for every $1,000 in gross receipts. In addition each business must pay an annual $25.00 business license fee. MT returns are required to be filed with the Township’s Tax Department by April 15 each year. Failure to file a MT return or to pay any taxes due can lead to citations, fines, and suspension of the privilege to do business in Plymouth Township.
Local Services Tax
Plymouth Township levies a Local Services Tax (LST) to fund the cost of police, fire, emergency services, and road construction and maintenance. Effective January 1, 2008, the LST replaces the Emergency Services Tax.
Also effective January 1, 2008, the Plymouth Township LST will be collected by Berkheimer Tax Administrator, a private collection service. Berkheimer acts as the tax officer and is responsible for processing all tax returns, collecting taxes due, and providing assistance to taxpayers. Berkheimer can be reached at 610-599-3142. Forms and information can be obtained at their website, www.hab-inc.com.
All residents and nonresidents alike who are employed in Plymouth Township are required to pay an annual LST tax of $52. The Township requires all employers within its boundaries to deduct the $52.00 LST from each eligible employee. The $52 withholding must be prorated over the entire year - a $1 per pay withholding for employees paid weekly, $2 per pay for employees paid bi-weekly, etc. The employers must remit monies collected to Berkheimer along with quarterly repoting forms that are provided to employers in January.
Employees are exempt from from paying the LST in any calendar year in which they earn less than $12,000. Employees who have more than one employer are not required to pay more than $52 in any calendar year. Employees must request an exemption by filing an ‘exemption request form’ with their employers. Employees who have not filed the form can not be exempted from the LST. Employers have been mailed copies of the exemption request form and the form is available on the Berkheimer website as well.
Plymouth Township levies an annual Amusement Tax on the privilege of engaging in an amusement in Plymouth. The tax is equal to 10% of eligible admission prices to certain places of amusement, entertainment or recreation. Operators of other special events held in the Township are also subject to the Amusement Tax. Under state law, many places of amusement are exempt from this tax, such as certain movie theaters, campgrounds and health clubs.
The Township also levies an annual Mechanical Device Tax of $100.00 for owners of coin-operated machines providing amusement, such as jukeboxes, pinball machines, video games and pool tables.
Earned Income Tax
The Earned Income/Net Profits Tax is levied on all salaries, net profits, wages, commissions, bonuses, and other compensation. Effective January 1, 2006 all Earned Income Taxes are collected by Berkheimer Tax Administrator, a private collection service retained by the Township. Berkheimer acts as the tax officer and is responsible for processing all tax returns, collecting taxes due and providing assistance to taxpayers. Berkheimer can be reached at 1-866-701-7206. Forms can be obtained at the website, www.hab-inc.com.
All residents, regardless of age or amount of income, as well as non-residents working in the Township, are taxable. Residents who work outside of Pennsylvania or in Philadelphia must check with Berkheimer for special provisions.
Every resident in the Township must complete and return a Resident Questionnaire within ten days of becoming subject to the tax. Residents returning to the work force after unemployment must re-register within ten days. All residents must file a return by April 15, whether there is tax due or not. Income earned prior to residency is not taxable.
The tax is collected either through withholding by the employer or through direct payments from the taxpayer. If an employer is deducting the tax, the resident should check with their payroll department to be sure that the home address is being properly reported. All employers doing business in the Township must withhold the tax from their employees.
The amount of the tax is equal to 1% of total wages, salaries, tips, compensation that is earned, bonuses, other incentives, net profit from business or professions and net profit from rental.
Only earned income and net profits are taxable. Unearned income such as Social Security, pensions, sick or disability payments and public assistance is not subject to the tax. Income received from rentals, stock, bonds, and insurance are subject to the tax only when the person is licensed as a dealer or actively engaged in these activities for profit.
There is a mail slot in the Tax Office door for after hours tax payments and sewer bill payments.