Mar. 15, 2017

Rep. Steve Mentzer (R-Lititz)
By now, everyone has received their assessment statement from the county. Don’t panic, this does not necessarily mean your taxes are going up. In fact, they could stay the same or even go down.

All the properties in each municipality are reassessed. They then figure out the average increase of all of the properties and come up with an average. In very simple terms, if your property went up about the average, than your taxes would remain about the same, if the property went up more than the average, your taxes would probably go up. And, if the property went up less than the average, your taxes would probably go down.
The first thing to know is that this notice is a preliminary value and is not the set value effective Jan. 1, 2018.

The last time the county reassessed properties was in 2005. Lancaster County uses base year methodology to set assessed values. Lancaster County’s base year will be set as January 1, 2015 with an effective date of January 1, 2018.

Ideally every county should reassess every three to four years. However, the typical period between reassessments in Pennsylvania is at least 20 years. Lancaster County, by resolution in 1997, adopted an eight year schedule for reassessment.

There is no simple, precise way to predict the total net tax change for any single property until the new tax rates are established for the 2018 County, Municipal and 2018-2019 School tax year. Generally, some property owners will see a tax decrease; some property owners will see a tax increase; and some property owners will see their taxes remain about the same.

Residents are entitled to an Informal Preliminary Notice Review. The dates set for these reviews are March 13 through March 31, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday at the Park City Mall, 142 Park City Center.

The assessors will be located in the Community Room of the mall office. This is located at the top of the stairs after entering the Kohl’s entrance by the outside bus terminal. You can use the escalator or stairs and an elevator is available at the side of the escalator. Once at the top, there is an entrance located next to Arby’s. Again, there is an elevator located near that entrance for your convenience. No appointments are necessary. They can also be reached by phone at (717) 299-8381.

Because of all the inquiries on this matter, I recently put together a special legislative report on the reassessment program with John Mavrides, Lancaster County’s Director of Assessment. You can watch this program by visiting