It has been nearly 12 years since Lancaster County’s last Property Reassessment. For some homeowners, you may remember the last reassessment and how it affected your property value, if at all. For others, you may be wondering “how does this affect me and is there anything I need to do?”
The answer to your question is, no. There is nothing you need to do to prepare for the next reassessment. You will not need to set any appointment times to meet with local assessment authorities or fill out any forms.
This is the first property reassessment for the County of Lancaster in over 10 years. It will not involve any individual assessments, but rather, it will be determined by a county wide assessment based on homes in similar neighborhoods within specific school districts in an almost 60 municipality area throughout the county. This is all expected to be done using a computer-generated system.
How it works
Using a computer-generated model, a new assessment will be generated for each of the 189,000 tax parcels in Lancaster County. This preliminary assessment will be mailed to all homeowners in early March 2017. This is not your final new assessment. All home owners will have the opportunity to review their preliminary assessment and notify the assessment office of any possible inaccuracies.
A final new assessment will be mailed to all homeowners on or about June 1, 2017. At this point, all homeowners have 40 days to file an appeal which would be scheduled for late summer or fall of 2017. This appeal process is very simple but does require the home owner to do their homework and present “proof” as to why the new assessment is incorrect. Providing comparables of other homes in in your area would be the best proof but depending on the circumstances you may need to go outside of the gates.
The new assessment will be effective for municipal taxes 1/1/18 and for school district taxes 7/1/18.
How it may affect you
A property assessment may or may not increase the assessed value of your property. There is approximately a 33% chance that your home may be reassessed at a higher value, a 33% chance it will be lower, and a 33% chance it will stay the same. Please keep in mind that the reassessment is not designed to provide more revenue for the taxing municipalities, but is intended to ensure a more equitable assessment after 12 years of change since the last reevaluation. By state law, the reassessment needs to be revenue neutral for all municipalities. Once the final assessments are done, each taxing entity will need to adjust their millage rates accordingly to ensure they remain revenue neutral.
Though there is much confusion about the process and what criteria determines the value of your home, it really is a fairly simple process. At the end of the day, there will be some inequities but the system in place allows enough time for homeowner input to hopefully minimize the inequities. If you have any questions about the process or the value of your home, feel free to give me a call or go to the Lancaster County website.