More than 200,000 homeowners in the Philadelphia suburbs, including in Chester and Delaware counties, could be paying too much in property taxes due to inaccurate assessments, write Laura McCrystal and Michaelle Bond for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Property assessments are set by counties, and unlike in some other states, Pennsylvania does not require regular reassessments, even though the International Association of Assessing Officers recommends they be done once a year.
While Philadelphia has overhauled its system and now performs annual reassessments, it has been nearly two decades since these mass appraisals were done in Chester and Delaware counties.
Instead, to set property taxes, counties annually submit prices and assessment ratios for all sales, and from there, an average is calculated. However, this system has an obvious flaw as home values do not rise and fall in value evenly within a community.
This means assessments on many properties are too high or too low, and can take years or even decades before the next full countywide reassessment is done.
Read more about property tax assessments in the Philadelphia Inquirer by clicking here.