Schuylkill County Commissioners agreed on Wednesday to conduct a countywide property tax reassessment.
Taxes will be collected on the revised property values starting in 2026.
It’ll take about 3 years for the countywide reassessment to take place, according to Joan Price, an attorney with the firm of Eastburn and Gray, which the county hired in 2021 specifically for the purpose of aiding with a potential reassessment.
Price said, in her experience with other counties’ reassessments, generally about one-third of property owners will pay more in taxes, another third will pay less, and another third will pay about the same in property taxes.
The Commissioners on Wednesday, after voting to agree to a consent decree on a litigation settlement that required Schuylkill County do a property value reassessment, also issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for companies to bid on conducting the reassessment.
Companies interested in doing the Schuylkill countywide reassessment have 90 days to submit their proposals.
The last time Schuylkill County conducted a property reassessment was in 1996.
Schuylkill Commissioners OK a Property Tax Reassessment
Here are answers to some questions you might be having about the pending countywide reassessment:
Why is Schuylkill County doing this?
As noted, this property reassessment was brought on by a settlement the Commissioners agreed to on Wednesday over litigation filed by a non-profit organization called Community Justice Project. That non-profit represented several Schuylkill County property owners who said, essentially, the County is not fairly collecting property taxes.
They said their taxes were too high due to inaccurate property values and that others aren’t paying enough on undervalued property they own.
This lawsuit was filed in 2018. Part of the settlement deal requires that Schuylkill County do a property reassessment.
When will new property tax values go into effect?
The reassessed value of Schuylkill County properties will go into effect by Jan. 1, 2026.
Will you pay more in property taxes after the reassessment?
How much you’ll pay in property taxes after the reassessment is difficult to determine. But on Wednesday, the Commissioners heard from Alan Dornfest, whom the County hired to evaluate how properties here are taxed currently.
Dornfest said based on his analysis that lower-valued properties are assessed at closer to their market value now than are higher-valued properties. Land and agricultural land tend to be the most undervalued in Schuylkill County.
So, generally speaking, owners of more valuable property can probably expect to pay more in taxes starting in 2026.
Who conducts the reassessment?
A third-party independent company will conduct the reassessment. Agents from this company will visit each property in Schuylkill County, collect data, take photos, and then calculate its new fair market value and its assessed value (half of the fair market value).
Can property owners appeal their reassessed property value?
Yes. If a property owner disagrees with their new assessed value, they have the right to file an appeal up to 40 days after receiving notice of their new property value.
Official notices of new property values must be mailed to owners no later than July 1, 2025.
Does Schuylkill County government collect more revenue after a reassessment?
No. By law, a countywide reassessment can’t be used to increase revenue to the County coffers. Reassessments must be revenue neutral, meaning that this is a measure to get property owners to pay their “fair share” when they previously may have not.