As new property assessment values go out, Delco officials remind homeowners not to panic

Property values photo.
Photo credit Bet_Noire/Getty Images
DELAWARE COUNTY, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — Delaware County Council is reminding homeowners not to panic as they get new home assessment values in the mail

The assessments are part of a court-ordered reassessment of all properties in Delaware County. The idea being, after many years without a countywide review of property values, newer construction was a lot closer to actual value, while older homes had fallen way behind.

But since taxes are calculated off the assessed value of a home, some residents are panicking when they see the new numbers, thinking their taxes will be calculated based on old tax rates.

But County Councilwoman Christine Reuther says before anyone panics, remember, "The total tax dollars that the county or any municipality can raise from the property tax has to stay the same.” 

That means they’ll have to come up with new tax rates once they get all the final values of all properties in the county to come up with new property tax rates for school, and you can’t use the old rate to estimate what you’ll be paying.

She says they figure a third of people will see an increase in taxes, a third will see a decrease, while one-third will see taxes stay the same.

She says for now, the only thing to be concerned with is whether or not the number you’re getting is what you think your home would actually sell for. If it isn’t, you can set up a meeting with the assessment company.

The county was split into four zones, and the tentative assessment values have been mailed for the first two zones. The others will go out over the next couple weeks.