Judge orders countywide reassessment

Judge orders countywide reassessment
Delaware County Common Pleas Court Judge Charles B. Burr has ordered the first complete reassessment of all property valuations in the county since 2000 to address an apparent lack of uniformity in violation of the Pennsylvania Constitution. “We believe the reassessment is long overdue and this is the proper way to deal with the lack of uniformity within the county,” said Philadelphia attorney John J. Murphy III, who represented two sets of homeowners in an underlying assessment challenge.  The reassessment, which will become effective January 2021, is the ultimate result of a pair of assessment appeals filed. The Pennsylvania Constitution includes a “uniformity clause,” which provides that “all taxes shall be uniform, upon the same class of subjects, within the territorial limits of the authority levying the tax.” In essence, Murphy said, the county violated that clause with wildly differing assessments on older and newer construction. The brief notes that the state allows counties to adopt either an annual valuation method or a “base method” of property valuation in levying taxes. Delaware County has opted for the base method, which uses a given property’s base-year assessment as the basis for taxation in subsequent years. Delaware County uses an Integrated Assessment System developed by Tyler Technologies to generate home valuations based on an analysis of comparable sales, according to the brief. The system employs a concept called “distance points” to identify comparable sales, in which lower points are assigned to more similar sales.
Source: Daily Times; 3/29/2017

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