Schuylkill County Commissioners unanimously approved taking out a more than $7.3 million loan to pay for the impending property tax reassessment.
Officially, they voted to authorize the issuance of a general obligation note in the principal amount of $7,341,000 and the costs associated with issuing the note. M&T Bank will be the purchaser of the note.
This loan will pay for part of the property tax reassessment that’s supposed to start this year. New property tax rates are scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, 2026.
Back in December 2022, the Commissioners approved major purchases toward getting that property tax reassessment completed.
They voted to hire a Massachusetts company, Vision Government Solutions Inc., to complete the reassessment. That came at a price tag of $6.6 million.
The Commissioners also approved software purchases, including a one-time fee to implement the software. A CAMA software subscription is costing Schuylkill County $144,500 a year. And the one-time implementation fee costs $375,000, which we’ll pay off over 4 installments.
Loan vs. Bond to Fund Property Tax Reassessment
During last week’s Commissioners meeting, Finance Director Paul Buber said the cost of the reassessment was budgeted in 2023 with the anticipation that the County would float a bond to pay for it.
However, Buber explained, the marketplace for bonds vs. loans has changed and after consulting with financial and legal experts – at your expense of $37,500 to each – it was decided that a traditional loan was the more prudent route.
Buber added that the loan has no pre-payment penalty, which would allow the County to refinance it at a lower interest rate, should the opportunity present itself.