Tax Rates

Description of Indicator
This indicator depicts the tax rates (mills) for Lackawanna, Luzerne, and Wayne counties. Property tax rates in Pennsylvania are referred to as millage rates, and they are figured in mills. One mill is equal to 1/1,000 of a dollar. The millage is computed differently so tax rates cannot be compared across counties.

Why is it important?
Property taxes are the financial backbone of local governments. They are often a significant local revenue source for financing K–12 education, police and fire departments, parks, and other services. Property taxes can also shape local housing markets and can influence the costs of buying, renting, or investing in homes and apartment buildings.

How is the region performing?
The three counties’ property tax rates vary significantly due to how and when properties in the counties were assessed. The ratios of assessed value for tax purposes to actual market value are different in each area, and in Wayne County, a reassessment resulted in a higher ratio of assessed to actual value. The decline in millage rates does not mean that property tax bills decreased. Additionally, tax rates included in this report do not include school taxes, which typically comprise the largest portions of all property owners’ tax bills.