There’s been a whole lot of talk about reassessment in light of lawsuits from a school district

January 17 – Boy, have people been talking about reassessment recently. 

Particularly in light of the recent story from the Cumberland Valley School District in Carlisle. Apparently, the district got tired of waiting on the county to do a reassessment of property values, so they took the matter into their own hands. 

District officials reviewed commercial sales data and discovered that some properties were being sold at prices that were more than double their tax assessment.

So the district took the issue to the courts, essentially saying if the property sold for a certain amount, then the taxes should reflect that, regardless of what the county assessment says. 

Interestingly, the district is winning a lot of the cases. 

All of this is amidst the Chambersburg Borough Council voting to send a letter to the Franklin County Commissioners to ask for a reassessment. 

Franklin County has not had a reassessment since 1962. 

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “My phone was ringing off the hook. I did get a note back from the borough manager in Chambersburg and it looks like there’s a conversation we can have next week for Political Vibe, our weekend long political show, about reassessment. But it’s one that they’re probably not going to be tackling anytime soon here in Franklin County, although it’s overdue from a lot of people’s camps.”

Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “I’m hearing a lot of comments about it, and two of the three current commissioners indicated supporting reassessment during the campaign. Now whether they’ll stick to that if it comes up for a vote remains to be seen. The pieces would be in place. We agree that there would have to be an outside vendor who comes in to do this and that is at a significant cost. Some of the latest figures I’ve heard are upwards of $5 million would be just the cost to do the reassessment. But a comment I’m repeatedly getting is the county commission just never going to do it? I mean, we’re already pushing 65 years now and sometimes these discussions come up. Commissioners, even prior administrations would say, well, we’re studying it. We’re looking at it. Well, when is it time? Do you wait 75 years, do you wait 100 years? I mean, at some point, it becomes a bit ridiculous each passing year and we’re the longest county in the state at this point that has not done reassessment.”

The ask from the Chambersburg Borough is kind of a first – it hasn’t really been done before. 

Barkdoll continued, “They’re seeing some of the strains it’s creating from a tax and a budget perspective. I understand, I heard Commissioner Flannery’s comments, the concerns about well, if we do this, does this just green light municipalities to raise taxes? Well, I don’t think that’s the goal of the municipalities, but I do hear where Commissioner Flannery is coming from, but I think there’s a lot of interest in this issue. If they move forward, they need to be very careful with it. We know our neighbors in Adams County did this years ago and it was a disaster. Hundreds if not thousands of tax appeals were generated after they did reassessment. I’m sure some lessons were learned from that. But things seem to be lining up this year for this to possibly happen.”

January 17 – Boy, have people been talking about reassessment recently. 

Particularly in light of the recent story from the Cumberland Valley School District in Carlisle. Apparently, the district got tired of waiting on the county to do a reassessment of property values, so they took the matter into their own hands. 

District officials reviewed commercial sales data and discovered that some properties were being sold at prices that were more than double their tax assessment.

So the district took the issue to the courts, essentially saying if the property sold for a certain amount, then the taxes should reflect that, regardless of what the county assessment says. 

Interestingly, the district is winning a lot of the cases. 

All of this is amidst the Chambersburg Borough Council voting to send a letter to the Franklin County Commissioners to ask for a reassessment. 

Franklin County has not had a reassessment since 1962. 

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “My phone was ringing off the hook. I did get a note back from the borough manager in Chambersburg and it looks like there’s a conversation we can have next week for Political Vibe, our weekend long political show, about reassessment. But it’s one that they’re probably not going to be tackling anytime soon here in Franklin County, although it’s overdue from a lot of people’s camps.”

Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “I’m hearing a lot of comments about it, and two of the three current commissioners indicated supporting reassessment during the campaign. Now whether they’ll stick to that if it comes up for a vote remains to be seen. The pieces would be in place. We agree that there would have to be an outside vendor who comes in to do this and that is at a significant cost. Some of the latest figures I’ve heard are upwards of $5 million would be just the cost to do the reassessment. But a comment I’m repeatedly getting is the county commission just never going to do it? I mean, we’re already pushing 65 years now and sometimes these discussions come up. Commissioners, even prior administrations would say, well, we’re studying it. We’re looking at it. Well, when is it time? Do you wait 75 years, do you wait 100 years? I mean, at some point, it becomes a bit ridiculous each passing year and we’re the longest county in the state at this point that has not done reassessment.”

The ask from the Chambersburg Borough is kind of a first – it hasn’t really been done before. 

Barkdoll continued, “They’re seeing some of the strains it’s creating from a tax and a budget perspective. I understand, I heard Commissioner Flannery’s comments, the concerns about well, if we do this, does this just green light municipalities to raise taxes? Well, I don’t think that’s the goal of the municipalities, but I do hear where Commissioner Flannery is coming from, but I think there’s a lot of interest in this issue. If they move forward, they need to be very careful with it. We know our neighbors in Adams County did this years ago and it was a disaster. Hundreds if not thousands of tax appeals were generated after they did reassessment. I’m sure some lessons were learned from that. But things seem to be lining up this year for this to possibly happen.”