Wayne reassessment underway

By OWEN WALSH
Posted 5/12/21

HONESDALE, PA — The Wayne County government is in the early stages of reassessing residents’ properties to ensure more equitable taxation across the county. To educate residents and keep …

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Wayne reassessment underway

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HONESDALE, PA — The Wayne County government is in the early stages of reassessing residents’ properties to ensure more equitable taxation across the county. To educate residents and keep them updated on the reassessment process, the commissioners recently launched a website dedicated to answering questions regarding the project. The website includes frequently asked questions on the process, a tentative schedule on the endeavor and a list of the meeting dates, times and locations.

The website can be reached at www.waynecountypa.gov/869/Countywide-Property-Tax-Reassessment

The county has contracted with Tyler Technologies Inc. to work in conjunction with the county’s own tax assessment office to provide real property appraisal services for the county’s general reassessment. The entire process will cost up to $2 million, a cost commissioner Joe Adams has said is already budgeted for and won’t come out of residents’ pockets. 

The commissioners have stressed several times since the project was first announced in January that reassessments do not increase or decrease how much tax revenue the county brings in, per state law. It only redistributes the total tax burden more fairly among residents. The rule of thumb is that one-third of residents will see their tax bills stay the same, one-third will see their taxes go up and one-third will see their taxes go down.

“A resident’s county, municipal and school taxes are all based on the assessed value of a property,” according to the commissioners. “Wayne County last conducted a countywide property tax reassessment in 2004. Since that time, property values have changed, creating inequities in the value of real estate in the county. The entire process will take more than a year, with new values reflected in the 2023 tax bills.”

The reassessment project includes several steps including data gathering, verification of data, establishment of assessed values and an opportunity to appeal. In the next few weeks, property owners with improved property in the county will receive a mailing with data pertaining to their property and a survey to sign and complete regarding their property, structures and more. The commissioners ask that these residents complete and return the information contained in this mailing, otherwise, an in-person visit from county assessors or contractors from Tyler may be required for visual data collection. 

“Anyone engaged in the reassessment effort who steps foot on your property will have [a] photo ID and you can ask to see these badges,” according to the county.

Tyler staff will be in Wayne County throughout the reassessment process, concluding in 2022. 

In an effort to answer residents questions about this process, eight public informational meetings will be held in May across the county. Some of these meetings will be recorded and posted on the reassessment website for those unable to make the in-person meetings. Questions concerning exemptions should be directed to the local assessment hotline located in the county’s assessor’s office: 570/251-8985.

Meeting schedule:

Thursday, May 13, 2 p.m., Beach Lake Volunteer Fire Co.

Thursday, May 13, 6 p.m., Wallenpaupack South Elementary School

Thursday, May 20, 6 p.m., Northern Wayne Fire Company

Monday, May 24, 6 p.m., Robert D. Wilson School

Tuesday, May 25, 2 p.m., Wayne County Park Street Complex

Tuesday, May 25, 6 p.m., Honesdale High School

Thursday, May 27, 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., The Hideout Lodge

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