Now that Schuylkill County commissioners have settled a lawsuit forcing a property tax reassessment, here’s what taxpayers should expect, according to County Administrator Gary R. Bender.
1. An independent company, from outside our area, is charged with valuing all of the properties in the county. These professionals are experienced in conducting reassessments in many different areas and are tasked with framing and executing the process as streamlined and efficiently as possible.
2. Trained data collectors will collect information from area property owners through a series of data mailers, site visits and in-person interviews. These data collectors may be people from our local area but they will be trained to only collect property information; they will not determine value. It is important that the county’s records accurately describe each property because it is this information that appraisers will use in the valuation process.
3. All properties will be valued by appraisers with the help of computer-assisted mass appraisal software and systems that ensures all properties are valued using the same set of standards. Certified Pennsylvania Evaluators will review each result and adjust values as necessary in order to establish market consistency. A new computer-assisted mass appraisal system, called a CAMA system, will necessarily be part of the reassessment.
4. Property owners will be notified by the county and given an opportunity for an informal review and correction of any data errors; and formal appeals to Schuylkill County Board of Assessment Appeals.
The approximate time for the entire reassessment process from start to finish is roughly three years from the beginning of the data collection process to implementation of the new assessments.