No decision on reassessment in Northumberland County, officials say

Apr. 20—SUNBURY — There still is no decision on whether Northumberland County commissioners will make a motion to pass property reassessment, and the elected leaders are still gathering information.

Northumberland County commissioners held a work session last week where they discussed the potential project. The group said if the county does have a property reassessment, it would likely start in January and take about three years

Commissioner and Chairman of the board Sam Schicctano previously promised Northumberland County residents that he would not be in favor of reassessment if the county couldn't fund the project.

Schiccatano, along with Commissioners Meghan Beck and Joe Klebon, met with the public and municipal and school district leaders at the county administration building in February to discuss the proposed countywide reassessment of properties. Schiccatano said the project could become a reality, especially if the county could find the money. It could cost between $4 and $7 million to fund the project.

"I will do everything in my power to make sure the county does not burden our residents with tax increases, but I do not control the school boards or municipalities," Schiccatano said.

Properties in Northumberland County have not been reassessed since 1972, meaning all property taxes are based on 52-year-old figures, officials said.

Commissioners said municipalities and school district leaders were in favor of the reassessment, which would allow those entities to raise taxes.

There can be winners and losers among property owners when a county does a reassessment, Schiccatano said.

As a rule of thumb, experts predict that when a county updates its property value estimates, one-third of property owners will see a tax increase, one-third will see no change and one-third will see their taxes go down, state officials said.

Tiffany Kaseman, the chief assessor of Northumberland County, said her office is finding homeowners who have not reported projects done to their homes.

She said the county will be getting new data from recent flyovers and will study the areas.

Kaseman said some municipalities also don't report to the county when permits are being purchased, which causes county leaders to have no idea when there is construction taking place.

Schiccatano said he will look after every senior citizen and resident if the process were to move forward.

"I will promise you all that this is not so we can raise taxes," he said. "I have always and will always look out for our senior citizens and our residents."

Schiccatano said the process of reassessment is to make things fair and equal and that the county will not see any additional funds from the reassessment.