July 22, 2019

Monroe County Reassessment Clarification and Information

Staff at the Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS® has received calls from members about the Monroe County reassessment process. Please see the following information and clarification from Senator Mario Scavello:

Property owners throughout Monroe County received mailed notices last week from the Monroe County Assessment Office containing their final assessed values for their residential and commercial properties. If you or a client received the new assessed value and believe it has been overstated, you / they have the right to challenge the valuation through a formal appeals process. Should you or your client have any questions regarding the assessment, call the Monroe County Assessment Office directly at (570) 517-3133.

Property owners have until August 12 to schedule their assessment appeal. Appeal forms for both residential and commercial properties are located at the bottom of the Assessment Office website: http://www.monroecountypa.gov/Dept/Assessment/Pages/default.aspx.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a process that was embarked upon by the county in order to restore equity to county-wide property values, since a reassessment has not been completed in almost 30 years. No state office or official has influence over the reassessment process. The county contracted with Tyler Technologies to complete the reassessment and specific procedures have been set for verifying or challenging the new property assessment.

  1. The County is moving from a 25% assessment value to a valuation based on 100% of the “market value” of your home. This does NOT mean that your taxes will increase fourfold. Rather, this simply means that millage will be calculated and assessed based on the full value of your home, not the old 25% rate. EXAMPLE: A home with a market value of $100,000 in 1989 had an assessed value of $25,000. Under the reassessment, a home with a market value of $100,000 will have an assessed value of $100,000.
  1. It is CRITICAL that you review the assessment information you received for accuracy. The assessed value assigned to your property is NOT your new tax – it is simply a valuation of your property. The assessed value, while based on “market values,” is not the same as the sales price of your property. It’s a valuation that is used for tax purposes.
  1. If you are dissatisfied with your property valuation, you can file a formal appeal with the Monroe County Assessment Office beginning July 1 through August 12. Formal appeals will be heard by the County Assessment Appeals Board.
  1. The actual tax you owe will not be known until the millage rates are adjusted accordingly after the assessed values are finalized in the fall. The new millage rates will be determined on November 15. Under the 1989 assessment, property owners have a lower 25% assessment value with a higher millage rate. Under the new reassessment, property owners will have a higher 100% assessment value and the millage will be adjusted downward. A reassessment does not mean that you will automatically pay more taxes. Reassessments are revenue neutral, meaning, as values are adjusted, some will go up, some will go down and others will remain the same. The county/school district/municipality cannot use the reassessment to increase taxes.
  1. Your taxes are determined by multiplying your assessed value by your millage rate. No property owner will know what their taxes will be until the new millage rates are determined. Currently, the priority is to ensure that your new assessed value reflects the market value of your home.
  1. The new assessment values and millage rates will not take effect until the 2020 tax cycle. To check your new property assessment value and to view the data and comparable properties that were used to arrive at your valuation, click the following link and select “Property Search”: monroecountypa.gov/reassessment.
  1. For more information regarding the reassessment, visit the Monroe County Reassessment website.
*PLEASE NOTE: This is a county driven process for the purpose of bringing equity to property values and is separate from ongoing efforts toward school property tax elimination/relief. Here is my latest on Scavello's efforts to address the school property tax.