Written by: Renee Foley
Typically, taxable assessed values in Pennsylvania do not change without an event occurring. These events include a county-wide reassessment, an appeal being filed, construction, or demolition. A county-wide reassessment requires special attention because the state does not have a regular reassessment schedule. Most counties in Pennsylvania go decades without reassessing property.
So, when a county finally does reassess property values, it must review every property in the county to determine whether the value and methodology measures being used are fair, equitable, and uniform. The new year of reassessment becomes the new base year, and this value will remain as the taxable assessment until the next event occurs.
Each year after the reassessment, the State’s Tax Equalization Board (STEB) reviews two-year-old, arm’s-length sales of all property types from each county. They then set equalization ratios for each county based on the average difference of sale price vs. base year assessment. These ratios are applied to the base year value and indicate current market values. These ratios cause fluctuations in the fair market value of a property each year and are used for appeal review.
EXAMPLE: BEAVER COUNTY—LAST PROPERTY REASSESSMENT 1982
Beaver County intended to undergo a county-wide reassessment for tax year 2023, however, they have pushed that to tax year 2024. In March 2023, tentative preliminary notices with value changes were mailed to property owners.
From our team’s perspective, these increases are substantial and new values should be reviewed for potential over-valuation and over-taxation. Final value notices should be mailed to owners between June 1 and July 1, with a 40-day window to file an appeal. DMA’s property tax experts anticipate the new value will hold for 10 to 15 years and will be confirmed before the opportunity passes.