Some residents say still unaware of Delco property reassessments

Jim Melwert
March 14, 2019 - 3:56 pm

Dreamstime

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DELAWARE COUNTY, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — As the process of reassessing the value of every piece of property in Delaware County continues, it seems some residents are still unaware it's happening. 

Despite two years of mailings, press releases, public meetings and notifications online reminding residents of the countywide property reassessment, Jeff VanZelst, Delaware County assessment manager, said residential property owners didn't believe the data sheets.

"I’ve had phone calls from people asking me if it’s a scam," he said.

VanZelst said the data sheets are being sent to make sure they have the right information before they start working up new valuations.

If people threw them out without checking them, they can call the company and come into the office to correct the information, but he said the company won’t send a new one.

If county records are wrong, VanZelst noted they’ll need to be corrected when it’s time to sell.

"Just because you’re selling your house today doesn’t mean we can address your issue today," he continued. "It might be a couple days before we get to it and that might affect a seller."

He also said just because your assessment goes up doesn’t necessarily mean your taxes will go up, since the reassessment must be revenue neutral. For example, if all property values went up, then tax rates would have to go down.

This is all based on a 2017 court order from a suit filed by property owners, who felt their more recently constructed homes were assessed significantly higher than similar older homes.

VanZelst expects to have the new tax rates out to homeowners around the middle of next year.