Schuylkill County Commissioner Boots Hetherington tried to assure an increasingly frustrated public on Wednesday that “nobody in the Courthouse” is “excited” by the idea of a property tax reassessment.
The Commissioners recently unanimously approved a lawsuit settlement which included a mandate that Schuylkill County conduct its first property tax reassessment since 1996.
To think a property tax reassessment was never going to be done again is just naive. But frustration is mounting against the Commissioners likely due to the fact that many believe their property taxes are going to go up.
The lawsuit settlement says the new assessment rates need to go into effect in 2026 but there’s a belief – founded in fact or not, it’s unknown – that the recent housing bubble in Schuylkill County will result in higher taxes for many.
In the last couple weeks, the Commissioners have heard from someone not named Dunkel or Casey over the reassessment.
And the summary of those complaints is that it’s just not a good time right now to be reassessing anyone’s property value.
Schuylkill County property owners are already dealing with the increasing burden of inflation. Dollars are being stretched more now than at any time in recent memory and the last thing people want is the government coming around looking for ways to nickel-and-dime them out of their last nickels and dimes.
That’s especially true considering all these government types have promised for years that they’re going to reduce or eliminate property taxes altogether.
In Schuylkill County, we’re further from that point than we’ve ever been.
Hetherington Says No One is Happy About Reassessment
So, on Wednesday, maybe Boots started sensing that frustration and addressed it during the Commissioners meeting’s final moments.
He said, “None of the three people in front of your are excited about the reassessment situation, OK? It is the result of a class-action suit that was filed against the County.”
Boots said the County was up against a wall, essentially. He says they could have fought the lawsuit in court (and, he says, probably lost) or did what the County ultimately did do … settle.
Either way, Boots says, the County was going to be forced into a reassessment.
“To fight it in court is going to cost extra money to the taxpayer, which didn’t make sense,” he said on Wednesday. “I don’t want to see reassessment. I have farmer friends that are scared to death about this. Again, nobody in the Courthouse, none of the Commissioners are excited about doing this.”