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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

What to know about property reassessments

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Mar 26, 2017 8:01 PM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Monday, March 27, 2017:

Homeowners often don't think about how much their properties are worth until it comes time to sell or their homes have been reassessed for tax purposes.

Lancaster County property owners have been thinking about it for the last few weeks though after receiving preliminary reassessment figures on the value of their properties.

Many found their property values increased since the last reassessment and are concerned their tax bills will rise as well.

Reassessments always generate a lot of questions.

We'll try to answer those questions on Monday's Smart Talk.

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State Senator John Eichelberger (R-PA 30th)

Appearing on the program are Republican State Senator John Eichelberger of Blair County, Phil Klotz, Executive Director and Danette Magee, Research Associate for the Local Government Commission and Deborah Crawford, Assessors' Association of Pennsylvania.

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Deborah Crawford - Assessors' Association of Pennsylvania; Chief Assessor, Tioga County / Phil Klotz - Executive Director, Local Government Commission / Danette Magee - Research Associate, Local Government Commission

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-  in our neighborhood (40 homes) 20 2b 203br  i questioned the value, i was told that they take in the value of the whole municipality not by neighborhood.

i also was told it wa done without visiting the property, it was generated by a computer, not by real investigating.    i am in lancaster county, manheim twp.      - Thomas

- Currently, my neighbor and I are unsure where our shared property line is; if an assessment happens is there any hope that could help clear that up?

The neighbor built a garden , and there is a fence that is falling; both of these items could be along the property line.                                                                           - anon

The lack of a property assessment can benefit the affluent and long term owners of property.

 As a former Real Estate Appraiser, I discovered numerous properties that had significant improvements that were not recognized in the County property tax records.

 Ex: A property owner purchases a property for cash. He builds a home or structure on the property with cash or a Construction loan. No permit is acquired. The municipality does not recognize the work or a permit is pulled but is not forwarded to the County. The improvement is not recognized until there is a reassessment. The property tax records reflect vacant land when a million dollar home has been present for 20 years.

 EX: A building permit is pulled for a shed. Work occurs on the property for 8 months. An indoor wave pool is constructed. The county had no record of the pool and building.

 Ex. An existing home is purchased. A permit is pulled to install a basement egress and refinish the flooring. Work proceeds continuously for 18 months. All interior elements are removed including walls. A completely new home is constructed within the foot print of the exterior walls. No record of this work exists at the county.

 What is the form of redress for municipalities that are incompetent or outright collude with property owners to avoid paying property taxes?

 What effective and economical recourse is there against Clean and Green (tax exempt/reduced) properties that do not adhere to the requirements of Clean and Green Law. IE: Allowing open access to the public, not posting the property etc.

 I would suggest that all privately acquired appraisals be required to forward a copy to the county at the peril of the appraisers license.                                              - Randy, Mechanicsburg

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