Released: August 27, 2020
The Board of Assessment Appeals and five auxiliary appeal boards are currently hearing reassessment appeals from the new assessments mailed to property owners on July 1. The new assessments are the result of a court order that mandated Delaware County to undertake a reassessment of all properties within the County, establishing new assessments effective January 1, 2021.
The deadline to appeal the new assessments is September 1, 2020. Appeal forms can be downloaded here http://www.delcopa.gov/treasurer/forms/BOAAnnualappealForm.pdf or by calling the assessment office at (610) 891-5695. All appeals are subject to the Board’s Rules and Regulations that are available on the Board’s website or by calling the assessment office. Appeals must be postmarked or hand-delivered to the assessment office no later than September 1, 2020.
Property owners are reminded that the fact that some assessments may have doubled does not mean that the individual taxes will double. The new assessments should reflect 100% of the 2019 market value of the property. In comparison, the old assessments reflect only a fraction of the current value of the property. In many cases, they are roughly 56% of current value.
Property owners appealing their assessments are reminded that they need to present evidence that the market value of their property is different than that set by the Countywide Reassessment. The new assessment should reflect 100% of the market value of your property as of July 1, 2019. The question to ask is- would your property would have sold for the assessed amount on July 1, 2019?
A property owner can prove market value by producing:
An appraisal report prepared by a Pennsylvania licensed appraiser; or
A recent arms-length purchase of your property in 2018 or 2019
The Board of Assessment Appeals can only change the market value of a property if the property owner can demonstrate that it is different than that established by the new Countywide Reassessment. The Board of Assessment cannot grant tax relief and has no control over the tax rates that will be set by the various taxing districts.
The reassessment must initially be revenue neutral. The County and all local taxing authorities are initially prohibited from increasing the total amount of taxes they collect as part of the reassessment. To ensure that the overall tax revenue stays the same, the County will reset its tax rate following the reassessment so that it will collect the same aggregate amount in real estate taxes in 2021 that it collected from the same aggregate properties in 2020. The County and each municipality will set their tax rates in December of this year. Each school district is also required to reset their tax rate in June of 2021.
This does not mean that individual real estate taxes will not change as a result of the reassessment. Real estate taxes may increase or decrease based on the value of the property relative to the value of all other properties within the school district, municipality, and the county. The size of the overall tax pie cannot increase, even if the way in which it is divided up shifts to reflect changes in relative property values in any taxing jurisdiction.