Statement Regarding Countywide Reassessment (8/25/20)

  • As many of our taxpayers already know, the countywide reassessment has set proposed new assessment values for all properties in Radnor beginning with the 2021 tax year which, for the School District, will occur with the 2021-22 school year beginning July 1, 2021. We have recently become aware of significant valuation issues which cause us great concern regarding the validity and uniformity of the reassessment process.

    To protect all of our taxpayers, our Solicitor is recommending that our Board authorize two important actions in response to the countywide reassessment. Both items are on our agenda this evening.

    The first action would authorize our Solicitor to file appeals from significantly undervalued 2021 assessments. Our Solicitor and our real estate appraiser would determine which assessments to appeal without consideration of the property type, and consistent with our District’s previous actions regarding tax assessment appeals.

    The second action results from our Business manager, District’s appraiser’s, and Solicitor’s analysis of the proposed new assessment values for all of our District’s properties. This analysis has revealed an unfair and inequitable shift of the total real estate tax burden to our District’s residential property owners resulting from the countywide reassessment.

    Specifically, our District’s residential property owners currently shoulder 79.8% of the total real estate tax burden. But under the countywide reassessment’s proposed new assessment values, our District’s residential property owners’ burden would increase to 84.3% of the total real estate tax burden, which is a 4.5 percentage point increase and a 5.6% increase in and of our District’s residential property owners’ burden.

    Practically speaking there is concern that, with no action or change, the typical Radnor residential taxpayer could see a 30-50% increase in their taxes, with no tax increase imposed by the Board.

    As Board President, I join in our Solicitor’s recommendations. The most accurate reassessment possible is a core function of government in Pennsylvania. As a Board, we owe a fiduciary duty to all of our taxpayers. When we see unfairness and inequity in the real estate tax system resulting from systemic errors in the countywide reassessment, we must stand up, speak up, and take appropriate action to attempt to remedy that unfairness and inequity. 

    Statement first read by School Board President Susan Stern at the 8/25/20 Regular Board Business Meeting