What Property Owners Want to Know
Why did the County reassess?
Because property values have changed so much over the years, many inequities have emerged. As a result of these inequities, some property owners may be paying more than their share of the property tax and others may be paying much less. The reassessment is conducted to address these inequities, and ensure that each property owner pays only his or her fair share of the tax burden; no more, no less.
Will I know when data collectors will be in my neighborhood?
You may see notices in the local newspaper and can be found on the County Website, www.monroecountypa.gov. Data collectors will measure buildings and talk with property owners. All Tyler staff will wear photo ID badges and vests identifying them as part of the project. You may also see photographers with cameras, as well as data collectors measuring structures. Local police and officials will also receive advance schedules listing the areas where Tyler staff will be working.
Do I have to let the data collector inside?
No. Data collectors will ask questions at the door and then measure building exteriors. Characteristics will be estimated if they cannot be observed or provided by the owner or occupant.
Data collectors will check items such as:
- Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
- Types of heating and cooling systems
- Year house was built
- General construction, materials and physical condition of the interior and exterior
Personal items such as furniture or décor do not influence the value of a house; they will not be noted. All information collected will be handled professionally and according to local project procedures.
What if I’m not home?
If no one is home, the data collector will complete an exterior inspection, including exterior measurements and an estimate of interior data. The collector will leave a document asking the occupant to provide interior information.
Will I receive details about my property?
After data collection, property owners will receive a parcel inventory mailer listing the characteristics on file for their property. This is an opportunity for owners to make any needed corrections to the data.
After we’ve visited your neighborhood, you will receive a mailer that lists the information on file for your property. When you receive it, please review this information carefully.
What about photography?
Tyler’s photographers will take a picture of every property in Monroe County. The outside of each property, usually from the street, will be photographed from the right of way. These images will become part of the County’s assessment computer database.
Will you visit commercial and industrial properties?
Yes. Much of the data collection is the same as residential collection and will begin in 2016. Naturally, factors will differ from those affecting a house. Information, such as building income, expenses and vacancy rates will be gathered in addition to physical characteristics.
What’s the next step?
After data collection is complete, Tyler will perform valuation analysis using computer-assisted mass appraisal (CAMA) techniques. During this process, Tyler appraisers will analyze local building costs, property sales, commercial income and expense information and other valuation factors to establish preliminary market values. These initial values are then reviewed to check for accuracy and consistency. Appraisers then make any necessary changes.
How is my property’s value determined?
The market value of your property is determined by using the property data that was collected earlier in the project. Digital photos were taken of all improved properties (parcels with structures), and then data mailers will be sent to ask you to verify that the collected data is correct. Tyler analyzed recent sales of similar properties, and considered construction costs and income and expense information, when appropriate.
In January 2018, Tyler will begin submitting the preliminary values to the chief assessor for review and approval.
When will property owners be notified of new values?
This information will be mailed to all owners beginning in March 2018. These values will first be used to calculate new tax bills starting with the 2019 tax year.
What is market value?
There are several long explanations of market value, but simply put, it is the most probable price a willing buyer would pay a willing seller for a property on the open market if neither party is under pressure to buy or sell.
Will the County, schools, and municipalities collect more taxes as a result of reassessment?
No. A reassessment does not increase or decrease tax revenue; it only redistributes the total tax burden more fairly.
How can I tell if my new value is correct?
You should ask yourself, could I or would I sell my property for the amount listed as my new assessment. You can check this against sales of similar properties in your neighborhood. To help you compare, listings of preliminary values and other data for all properties in the County will be available for comparison on the internet at the County’s website. Properties currently for sale can be found on the internet at various real estate sites.
Should the preliminary assessed value be the same as the purchase price for my property?
The goal of the assessment equity project is to determine the fair market value of every property in Monroe. If you purchased your house within the past year and if the purchase was on the open market and had no unusual conditions, the appraised value on your notice should be reasonably close to the sale price, but probably will not be the exact amount. Just because one person is willing to pay a certain amount for a property doesn’t mean that the majority of buyers would be willing to pay the same price. During the valuation process, each property is compared to up to five similar properties to determine the most probable selling price. While sale prices may vary slightly, even for identical properties, the assessor must be equitable in his valuations. Therefore, similar properties will have the same appraised value, even if they might sell for a little more or less than the appraised value.
Along the same lines, even if you appealed your value (assessment) in a prior year to the Assessor’s Office, or to the Board of Assessment Revision, and the value was adjusted, the revaluation appraises each property as if it had not been valued before. Any prior changes are not considered since those changes were based on the old, outdated system. The new value you receive should be a reasonable estimate of market value and equitable with surrounding properties of a similar type.
Are exemptions included in this preliminary value?
Any existing exemptions are not included in your preliminary value, but will be in the taxable value you receive from the County after the reassessment in July 2018. (Taxable value equals the assessed value less any exemptions that may be applicable). Questions concerning exemptions must be directed to the Assessor's Office.
What if I feel the preliminary value is not close to my property’s value?
If you feel that the value is not reasonably close, make an appointment for an informal review to go over the data and value. Data compiled during the revaluation will be available for inspection at the informal review.
How will Reassessment affect my taxes?
By itself, a Reassessment is revenue neutral, although it will cause tax burden shifts among properties. Some owners will see increases while others will see decreases, and yet others will remain approximately the same.
What if I am not satisfied with the new value?
Informal value review meetings will be conducted by Tyler from March to June 2018. If a property owner is not satisfied with the results of an informal review, a formal appeal may be filed with the County Tax Assessment Office.
When will I learn the results of the informal review?
No value changes will be made at the informal review, but all information you supply will be reviewed.
What if I am still not satisfied with my assessment?
If you disagree with the results of the informal review, your next step would be to file a formal appeal with the Board of Assessment Revision. The deadline for filing a grievance and for making an appointment with the Board is within 40 days from the date on the Official Notice.
If I don’t schedule an informal review, do I lose my right to file a formal appeal?
No. You are not required to attend an informal review in order to file a formal appeal with the Board of Assessment Revision. Even if you chose not to schedule an informal review, further legal review is available if you have filed an appeal with the Board of Assessment Revision within 40 days from the date on the Official Notice. Applications for the Board of Assessment Revision will be available at the Assessor’s Office after July 1, 2018.