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Dealing With Your 2018 Property Reassessment

Lancaster County’s formal Notices of Reassessment for tax year 2018 will be mailed during the first week of June 2017. Property owners will have forty (40) days from the stated mailing date of the Notice to file a formal appeal of the reassessment of their property. This will place the filing deadline sometime in the middle of July 2017. If the owner misses this filing deadline, the reassessment value set forth in the Notice will be effective for tax year 2018, and any further effort to change the assessment will have to wait until the August 1, 2018 deadline for appeals for the 2019 tax year.

The Notice you receive in June will set forth an assessment for your property which Lancaster County believes is the fair market value for 2018. In analyzing this value, you should consider whether the stated value is what you believe you could obtain for your property if you placed it on the market for sale today. If the value is near or less than what you believe your property would sell for in today’s market, then you are fairly assessed and need take no further action. However, if you believe that the reassessment value is substantially higher than the price you could receive from a current sale of the property, then you should consider filing an appeal from the reassessment.

A County assessment appeal is a relatively quick and inexpensive administrative process through which you can seek to have the assessment lowered on your property, thereby reducing the amount of property tax you will have to pay in 2018 and future years. However, you must be able to prove the likely market value of your property through evidence of comparable sales of similar properties in recent years.

Whether commercial or residential, we have broad experience in dealing with assessment appeals in Lancaster County and the surrounding region, and can offer you guidance on whether an appeal is appropriate, and how to pursue the appeal through an administrative hearing, or into Court if necessary. Please feel free to contact Appel & Yost at 717-394-0521 if you would like to discuss a potential property assessment appeal.

Recent Changes in Child Support Calculations

In Pennsylvania, the basic amount of child support a parent is entitled to receive is calculated based upon the parents’ combined net monthly incomes and the number of children. Pennsylvania uses a spreadsheet that will then indicate how much of the parents’ net monthly income would have been spent on the children if the parents had remained together.

For example, if the parents each earn $3,000 per month, there are three children, and one parent is the primary custodian, then the spreadsheet indicates that the parents would have spent $1,721 on the children had they remained together. As the parties’ incomes are equal, the non-custodial parent will owe half of that amount on a monthly basis, or $860.50.

Every four years, the spreadsheet is updated to take into account inflation, cost of living increases, etc. As of May 1, 2017, the spreadsheet has been adjusted to reflect those updates. As of May 1, 2017, the spreadsheet indicates that if $3,000 were earned by each parent, then $1,761 would have been spent on the children if they had remained together. This raises the noncustodial parent’s basic support obligation to $880.50.

After the basic child support obligation is calculated, it is further adjusted to take into account things such as health insurance premiums, daycare expenses, and other circumstances. If you have questions about child support, the impact of the new increases, or any other questions relating to family law matters in general, contact the attorneys at Appel & Yost, (717) 394-0521.