What is the Pennsylvania Realty Transfer Tax?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA RM420589

If you have bought or sold a home in Schuylkill County, or any parts of Pennsylvania, you should have noticed the line item “Realty Transfer Tax” that you paid on the closing statement (the HUD-1 that the title company gave you).

Below is the transfer tax as reported on a sample HUD-1 for a $199,000 property sale:

Pennsylvania Real Estate Transfer Tax

In Pennsylvania, the realty transfer tax is imposed at a rate of 1% on the value of real estate (including contracted-for improvements to property) transferred by deed, instrument, long-term lease or other writing. Both grantor and grantee are held jointly and severally liable for payment of the tax.

In Schuylkill County, there is also 1% due at the time of sale. Therefore, the transaction has a total 2% real estate transfer tax (1% to the state and 1% to the local government).

In most sales transactions, the buyer will pay 1% and the seller will pay 1%. Occasionally, many times in auction or foreclosure properties, the buyer will bear the burden of paying the full 2%.

The realty transfer tax is collected by the Schuylkill County Recorders of Deeds, who then remits the commonwealth’s 1% to the Department of Revenue. The locals have the option to share their realty transfer tax among school districts and municipalities.
Some real estate transfers are exempt from realty transfer tax, including certain transfers among family members, to governmental units, between religious organizations, to shareholders or partners and to or from nonprofit industrial development agencies. Deeds to burial sites, certain transfers of ownership in real estate companies and farms and property passed by testate or intestate succession are also exempt from the tax. While the majority of realty transfer tax is deposited into Pennsylvania’s General Fund, 15% of collections are dedicated to the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund.


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Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Consider the poor folks in Reading PA who are stuck with a 5% transfer tax !!!!!!! Unbelievable !

Jan 13, 2011 11:52 PM #1
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Erica Ramus

MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate
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