Washington County, Pennsylvania, recently concluded its first county-wide reassessment in more than 35 years, with reassessment values effective for the 2017 tax year. Property owners will receive two separate notices regarding the new values.
The first notice will be a Notice of Informal Review that will be mailed to property owners starting March 1, 2016. These notices will be mailed to residential property owners first, with commercial property owners to follow. The second notice will be a formal Change of Assessment Notice that will be mailed to all property owners July 1, 2016. Property owners will have 40 days to file a formal appeal from this notice, which will be due August 10, 2016. The county is considering extending this deadline until September 1, 2016.
You may see significant assessment increases as Washington County currently assesses property at 25 percent of its market value. Under the new reassessment, a property assessment will reflect 100 percent of market values. By example, a property with a market value of $100,000 is currently assessed at $25,000. As a result of the reassessment, a property with a market value of $100,000 will be assessed at $100,000.
In most cases, millage will decrease, but a property owner should determine:
Is the market value of the property correct?
Property owners have an option to meet with Washington County’s reassessment firm, Tyler Technologies, to informally discuss and review their reassessments between March and June 2016. Our experience is that informal reviews only correct property data errors and do not address specific valuation concerns. If a property owner remains dissatisfied with the results of their informal review, they have the right to file a formal appeal with the Washington County Tax Revenue Department by August 10, 2016.
Property owners electing not to participate in the informal review process do not waive their right to file a formal appeal. As such, you may bypass the informal review process and file a formal appeal with the Washington County Tax Revenue Department by the same August 10, 2016, appeal deadline.
Here are some important Washington County reassessment dates
- March 1, 2016 – Informal review notices to be mailed to property owners
- March – June 2016 – Informal reviews with Tyler Technologies
- July 1, 2016 – Formal Change of Assessment Notice to be mailed to property owners
- August 10, 2016 – Formal appeal deadline (deadline may be extended until September 1, 2016)
A property owner receiving a reassessment notice has some decisions to make. Owners should evaluate the following:
- Is the property data correct (i.e., land area, building size)?
- Is the market value fair based on your location (i.e., compared with recent sales in your area)?
- If the property is rented, is the market value based on the income generated by the property?
Reed Smith is prepared to assist you in evaluating your property for an informal review or a possible appeal. Please contact us at the number or email listed below to request an evaluation of your property.
Client Alert 2016-034