FAQ: Delaware County Reassessment

Deadline to file appeal for next year is Aug. 1

What was the county reassessment process and why did it happen? 

The county was ordered by the courts to conduct a county wide reassessment of all commercial and residential properties. The last time this was done in Delaware County was 1999. In 2017, the process began when Delaware County Council selected the assessment company to complete the process (Tyler Technologies). It’s important to note that Tyler is one of few companies able to handle the reassessment of a county of our size.  

What was the purpose of the county wide reassessment?  

The reassessment was supposed to more equitably distribute the tax burden based on July 1, 2019 property values. It did that across the County. It doesn't mean that every property is appropriately assessed. It means that when tested against market sales data, on a county wide basis, the reassessment met the contractual requirements that were put in place to satisfy state constitutional requirements. 

What can I do about my taxes if I think the reassessment is off? 

Some houses and even some neighborhoods could be off. The best way to address that is by appealing your assessment. The deadline for this year's bills has passed, but you can appeal for next year by submitting a short form by Aug. 1. There are no fees for 2022 appeals. You can find the information for how to appeal the assessment by calling the county chief reassessor’s office at 610-891-5127 by visiting https://delcopa.gov/treasurer/boa.html 

Find the Delco Board of Assessment Rules and Regulations here: https://delcopa.gov/treasurer/pdf/ProposedRulesAndRegs.pdf 

Why did the burden shift slightly between residential and commercial businesses?  

Pennsylvania law does not permit property tax assessors to distinguish between commercial and residential properties when setting values. So in communities where there has been more new housing construction than new commercial construction and in markets where housing values have increased faster than commercial values, the overall tax burden may fall more heavily on residential properties. There is nothing the assessor can do about it. In order to fix this issue, Pennsylvania has to change the state constitution or allow alternative means of funding schools and municipal governments. Please note that there are also properties that saw tax decreases, not because the values went down, but because the values did not go up as much as other houses. This is typically the case with newer construction that was already assessed closer to market value. 

This process is supposed to be revenue neutral. Why did my taxes still go up?  

There are two components to tax bill changes this year: the county wide reassessment, which redistributed the property tax burden among property owners without changing the total property tax dollars the county, municipality or school district could collect, and any increase in millage a municipality or school district may have imposed. The County did not increase the amount of property taxes collected in 2021.