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Tyler Technologies plans to begin Lycoming County property reassessment by Aug. 1

Third Street Plaza where Lycoming County government offices are held.
Chase Bottorf
Third Street Plaza, the home of Lycoming County government offices

With Lycoming County’s first reassessment in two decades approaching, property owners should see assessors in their neighborhoods soon.

Here are 11 things to know about reassessment.

1. Except for properties whose value owners successfully appealed, most county property assessments haven’t changed since 2004. During that time, values have changed. The county commissioners awarded  Texas-based Tyler Technologies a $3.4 million contract in May to reassess properties over the next three  years. Tyler will collect data on almost 55,000 parcels, including 48,000 residential. 

2. Assessors should start showing up in to-be-determined neighborhoods by Aug. 1. Tyler plans to hire 13 or 14 people, Tyler project manager Steve Wise said. Applicants so far include students from the Pennsylvania College of Technology and Lycoming College. Tyler wants to hire local residents, Wise said.  “We feel that local people best know an area that you're working in - somebody that lives there and commutes there, has a family there,” Wise said. “We always try to hire a good majority, if not all, of the people locally. It's a good opportunity for people who may be looking for employment.”

3. The employees will consist of 10 field data collectors and three or four office staff. The collectors will do the door-to-door work with office employees handling computer data entry and other clerical work.  The collectors will carry Tyler identification badges.

4. The reassessment aims to find data that better reflects property values. “The reassessment is designed to address these inequities and ensure each property owner only pays their fair share of the tax burden no more, no less,” Wise said. 

5. Data collectors gather necessary data through photographs and measuring a property’s exterior size. This includes a building’s size, age, construction materials, physical condition and any outbuildings (sheds, barns, garages). Data collectors do not enter homes but might ask property owners about interior conditions, number of rooms, if it was remodeled, types of heating systems or anything else that people usually consider when buying a property. The Owners are not required to answer but that can affect the ability to get an  accurate assessment. 
“It’s mainly a statistical gathering of all the points that you would have in a property… We're not allowed to do any kind of photographs or any kind of interior inspections of the home,” Wise said.

6. Tyler will collect data one township, borough or city at a time, Wise said. Tyler will send reports on each property to owners to verify accuracy. Owners can correct mistakes. The idea is to get the most accurate picture of a property before deciding on values.

7. Assessors can review Lycoming’s previous assessment for information, using it as a guide for land size, property type and statistical data, Wise said. But the current data collection will be used to develop property values.

8. Tyler expects to finish data collection by the end of 2026. Tyler will analyze the data, and look at recent market and sales reports to judge new values. Once Tyler gets to the valuation phase, they’ll know what values changed.  “It's impossible to say without analyzing the data. When we get to the final result, you're going to have values, they're going to fluctuate, they're going to go up and down and there's going to be some that are going to stay the same,” Wise said.

9. Proposed values should be mailed to property owners by March 2027. Owners can dispute sale value findings informally first. They can then file formal appeals after final value notices are issued in July 2027. Tyler’s appraisers can work with any owner that disagrees with the informal evaluation to correct data if necessary, Wise said.
“Those are things that we can correct to ensure people the assessment that we have on their property is accurate, it's a fair assessment, and the values at a fair market value,” he said.

10. New values won’t go into effect until Jan. 1, 2028, after the appeal process ends. Property owners won’t know if taxes will rise until the commissioners set new millage rates. Millage rates must come down because the county can’t collect more than 10% more in revenues in the first year new values are used. Some properties will see higher taxes, some about the same and some lower. The rule of thumb is one-third higher, one-third about the same and one-third lower. 

11. Tyler Technologies originated in 1938 and considers itself the leading mass appraisal company.
“There's nobody who does more than what we can do,” he said.
Wise lives in Atlanta, Georgia but will relocate to Pennsylvania soon to oversee the project.

Chase Bottorf is a graduate of Lock Haven University and holds a bachelor's degree in English with a concentration in writing. Having previously been a reporter for the Lock Haven news publication, The Express, he is aware of the unique issues in the Lycoming County region, and has ties to the local communities.

The Lycoming County reporter position is funded by the Williamsport Lycoming Competitive Grant Program at the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania.

You can email Chase at chasebottorf@wvia.org