The Lancaster County Assessment Office assesses real estate within the county for the local property tax levy. County government, 17 school districts and most of the 60 municipalities in the County levy a property tax. For most, the property tax is their principal source of revenue. The Assessment Office maintains a listing and valuation inventory of the nearly 183,000 parcels located within the border of the County for this purpose.
Lancaster County is a 3rd Class County (based on population) and the Assessment Office is administered under Pennsylvania 3rd Class and General County assessment law. The 3rd Class County Assessment Law requires the appointment of a three-member Board of Assessment Appeals for the purpose of overseeing Office administration and hearing assessment appeals. Appeals from assessment can be taken by property owners and taxing bodies alike, for the purpose of correcting over or under-assessed properties. Appeals may be undertaken any year when filed on or before August 1, with the result effective beginning with the subsequent tax year. In addition, an appeal may be filed within 40 days of any assessment change notice issued by this Office after a change has occurred to a property effectively changing its market value. This is different during a reassessment year, the owner has 40 days to file an appeal as of the day of the reassessment notice.
Mass appraisal for property tax purposes is guided by the concepts of market value and uniformity. Generally, the real estate market is the measure of an accurate assessment, according to the concept of market value. Uniformity requires that like properties be assessed similarly throughout the County. Lancaster County completed a countywide Reassessment that became effective 1/1/2005. Assessed values are based on property market values as of 1/1/2005. The predetermined ratio is 100%.
150 North Queen Street
Suite 310 3rd floor
Lancaster, PA, 17603