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First Washington County Reassessment Notices Mailed

Washington County residents will undergo property value reassessments for the first time in 35 years. Changes will take effect in 2017.

Washington County landowners will begin to receive property reassessment notices Tuesday.

The newly assessed property values, which will take effect next year, are the county’s first since 1981.

When the new assessed values take effect in 2017, some landowners will start to pay more than what they’ve been contributing in taxes. Others will start paying less.

According to the Washington Observer-Reporter, most assessed values are expected to rise from the 1981 levels, but school districts and municipalities will have to adjust their millage rates so they don’t receive windfalls higher than the official rate of inflation.

Two Washington County school districts sued several years ago to force the reassessment.

Dusty Elias Kirk, the co-chair of real estate at Reed Smith LLC, said those who live in newly redeveloped areas will likely see their property values increase.

Kirk said Pennsylvania’s property assessment laws lag behind those of other states.

“In some places, the reassessments are done by the state, and so they’ll issue new notices every – whatever it is, three years, five years,” said Kirk. “I think that would make it a lot more fair for everyone in Pennsylvania if there was that same requirement.”

After receiving their mailed reassessment notices, landowners have 30 days to begin an informal review process to fix any factual errors in assessments. More subjective disagreements about a property’s assessed value can be settled by formal appeals, which Kirk said must be filed by mid-August.

Allegheny County went through its latest property reassessment process in 2012. Butler County hasn’t had one since 1969.