Lancaster County Property Tax Assessment

Lancaster County is in the process of a countywide reassessment through which the assessed value of each property will be determined. Preliminary notices of new assessments will be mailed to property owners in the beginning of March 2017, and final notices establishing the assessed value will be mailed in the beginning of June 2017. The new assessed values will be effective January 1, 2018 for county and municipal taxes and July 1, 2018 for school district taxes.


What is the Difference Between Assessed Value & Fair Market Value?

The assessed value is what the taxing authorities-the county, municipality, and school district-use to determine the amount of tax due for each property. However, the assessed value is different from a property's fair market value. The fair market value is the price a property should sell for after reasonable exposure in a competitive market, with the buyer and seller acting prudently, knowledgeably, and for self-interest, and assuming neither is under undue duress.


What is the Purpose of Countywide Reassessment?

The countywide reassessment is intended to align a property's assessed value and fair market value. For tax year 2017, the assessed value of a property in Lancaster County should have been approximately 75.5 percent of its fair market value. For example, if a home was recently purchased for $200,000, the assessed value should have been approximately $151,000. After the countywide reassessment, the assessed value and fair market value should be nearly equal. Specifically, the assessed value should equal the fair market value for the chosen base year, which is 2015 for Lancaster County.


How Will the New Assessed Value be Used?

The assessed value will be multiplied by the millage rate for the county, municipality, and school district to determine the amount of tax due for a property. If the property is over assessed, an inequitable amount of tax will be due.

There is limited time to contest the new assessed value for a property. The County is making staff members available from March 13, 2017 through March 31, 2017 to review preliminary notices. A formal appeal needs to filed within 40 days of the mailing date of the final assessment notice if you wish to contest that final assessment. Please contact an attorney at Smoker Gard Associates LLP if you would like to discuss the assessment of your property or filing an appeal.



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