Commissioners plan to reassess Wayne County property

By OWEN WALSH
Posted 1/20/21

HONESDALE, PA — The COVID-19 pandemic has paved the way for a housing boom in Wayne County unlike anything the area has experienced in years. With so many communities changing and so many homes …

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Commissioners plan to reassess Wayne County property

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HONESDALE, PA — The COVID-19 pandemic has paved the way for a housing boom in Wayne County unlike anything the area has experienced in years. With so many communities changing and so many homes being built and bought, the Wayne County Commissioners feel it’s time for a tax reassessment.

“There is a lot of building going on, there is a lot of activity in sales, there are values and communities that have changed and we do see a need for another reassessment,” chairman Brian Smith said. “We think we’re at a good time to start a reassessment; it takes some time. It will be a two- to three-year period.”

Commissioner Joe Adams said that the county’s last reassessment took place between 2003 and 2004 and was implemented in 2005. Things have changed “dramatically” since then, he said.

In Pennsylvania, property reassessments are carried out on a county-to-county basis and are done to ensure that all properties in the community are being taxed fairly and equitably. The longer the intervals between reassessments, the greater the chances are that some properties in a county have become undervalued and some overvalued.

The general rule of thumb for reassessments is that one-third of property owners will see their taxes go slightly down, one-third will see taxes go slightly up, and one third won’t see any difference. For the county, it’s a revenue-neutral action, because it’s prohibited by law for a government to collect more money after the reassessment process than it collected beforehand.

“It’s all about being fair, equitable and reasonable with valuations that are certified and correct,” Adams said.

It costs up to $2 million to complete a tax reassessment, an amount Adams said the county already has worked into its budget, so taxes won’t be raised to fund the project.

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