If you live in Monroe County, over the last week you should have received an informational sheet from the Monroe County Assessment Office giving you your new property assessment valuations. Don’t think that just because your assessed value has gone up that your taxes will go up. I have done my best in this short recap to offer information that I believe is relevant, easy to understand and will help you develop further questions or help you communicate to others. Background The Pennsylvania Constitution requires that all taxes shall be uniform upon the same class of subjects, within the territorial limits of the authority levying the tax and shall be levied and collected under general laws (referred to as the Uniformity Clause in the Pennsylvania Constitution).
The comparable values determined by property assessments are the basis for establishing school, municipal and county tax bills. It is also to create equitable property values for tax purposes. The Local Government Commission created a task force on property tax reassessment. The commission recommended that property taxes should be reassessed every 10 years (industry standard is 4-7 years). Long intervals between comprehensive property assessments are often to blame for contributing to unfair valuations in which similar properties have widely varying tax bills. Due to Beaver County not having a reassessment done since 1982 and being told by the Pennsylvania lower courts that its current property valuations are unfair, and a reassessment must be conducted, many counties across Pennsylvania are beginning the reassessment process, expecting a possible future lawsuit. Monroe County has not done a property reassessment since 1989. It is important to know that Monroe County Judge Arthur Zulick ruled that using the 1989 base year system of property values violates the uniformity requirement of the Pennsylvania Constitution. Reassessment Process
Please note: No state office or official has influence over the reassessment process
. The Monroe County Commissioners contracted with Tyler Technologies to perform the reassessment and specific procedures have been set for verifying or challenging your new property assessment. Reassessments are not a means to increase overall tax revenues. It is prohibited by law for more money to be collected at the completion of the reassessment process than was previously collected. This is often referred to as a revenue neutral action.
There are several factors that determine an assessed value. The amount of income generated from a property, replacement cost of a building(s) and comparable properties play a significant role. A millage rate is the amount per $1,000 of property value that is used to calculate property taxes. When millage rates are determined they will be multiplied by the total taxable value of your property. There is a cap on how much tax revenue a municipality and county can collect the year after an assessment. These groups cannot collect an amount that is more than 10 percent greater than the total from the year before. So, if a municipality collects $1 million in the year before, the total they can collect can be no more than $1.1 million in the first year after a reassessment. (Remember, revenue collected during a reassessment cannot be more than what was previously collected so millage rates will change from their current rates.) Generally speaking, after a reassessment, a third of all property owners will see their property taxes
go up, a third will see them stay the same, and a third will see their taxes lowered. Appeals Process Every property owner has the right to appeal the assessed value of property (the date of the most recent assessed value is noted on the sheet you received). If you believe the information on your sheet reflects incorrect information/details about your property, you may challenge or correct that information with an informal review with Tyler Technologies by calling 570-517-3895 until Monday, April 1. If, after the informal review, you are still dissatisfied with your property valuation, you can file a formal appeal with the Monroe County Assessment Office beginning Monday, July 1 through Friday, August 9.
Formal appeals will be heard by the Monroe County Assessment Appeals Board. All appeals must be completed before any millage rates are determined. The current goal of the reassessment process is to make sure that your assessed property values are correct, so it is critical that you check your new information sheet. If there is an issue, you should schedule an informal review as soon as possible. I hope this has given you some insight/details that may be needed at this time. However, if you have any further questions, you can call Tyler Technologies at 570-517-3895 or go to the following websites: For Frequently Asked Questions click here
. For an informational PowerPoint regarding the reassessment process, please click here
. Here is a link to the County Assessment Law