Owners of those ineligible properties will continue to pay the full property tax, along with those homeowners who did not apply for homestead and farmstead exemptions. There are more than 29,000 properties in the district, and Vensel said a few thousand homes might still be able to qualify for homestead exemptions in the future.
The exemptions first went into effect in 2007-08 when there were 14,909 in the district. When the opportunity became available late last year through March for others to sign up, 1,441 more homes were added to the list, an increase of less than 10 percent.
"I had expected a 25 percent bump or more" as word of the tax reductions became more widespread, Vensel said.
The tax reductions were made possible by the state's Act 1 school property tax law that allowed districts, with voter approval, to shift some of the tax burden away from real estate to earned income taxes. A tax commission recommended and district voters approved increasing the income tax from 0.5 percent to 1.2 percent. That 0.7 percent increase is expected to generate more than $8.3 million for property tax relief.
The district's share of slots money from the state was $1,341,134, split equally among the 16,350 properties with exemptions.
For some higher income households, the increase in earned income tax will be more than the real estate tax reduction. People who rent homes or apartments pay the higher earned income tax, but receive no benefit from either the homestead exclusions or slots money.
Chambersburg was the only one of six districts in Franklin County - and a handful among the 501 in Pennsylvania - that approved its Act 1 referendum.
Senior citizens in the district who are income-eligible for the state's property tax rebate program could see additional property tax relief. In some cases, a senior citizen or couple with a house valued at $150,000 conceivably could pay no school property taxes, he said.
County and any municipal real estate taxes still have to be paid on all properties, Vensel added.
In the other districts, those homeowners who qualified for and received homestead and farmstead exemptions will see a reduction based on the amount of slots money those districts receive.