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Tax Equalization Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is tax equalization?

Whenever a school district shall lie in more than one county, the total taxes levied on real estate within the school district in each county shall be subject to tax equalization as determined by the State Tax Equalization Board. Tax equalization means that everyone is assessed at the true market value of real estate and pays a fair share of tax.

 

Why is tax equalization necessary for the Wallenpaupack Area School District?

The Wallenpaupack Area School District receives real estate tax revenue from both Pike and Wayne Counties. Each county has determined assessed values in a different manner. As a result, state law requires the conversion of assessed value to market value.

 

How are the assessed values different in Wayne and Pike Counties?

If you own a property in Wayne County the assessed value is based on 100% of market value in 2005. 
If you own a property in Pike County the assessed value is based on 25% of market value in 1996.
Because of the differences in assessed value determination, state law requires the tax equalization process.

 

How does state tax equalization calculate consistent values between the two counties?

Tax equalization is achieved by determining the market value of each parcel by dividing the assessed value by the latest ratio of assessed value to market value in each county as set by the State Tax Equalization Board.

 

What is the major factor in determining the ratio?

The State Tax Equalization Board determines the ratio based upon the sales value of property sold in the previous year. This information is furnished by the county assessor’s office.

 

What are the 2010-2011 tax rates based upon?

The 2010-2011 tax rates are based on the 2008 market value information provided by the State Tax Equalization Board.

 

What are the 2008 market values?

Pike County Market Value:      $2,355,225,500

Wayne County Market Value:  $1,198,370,500    

School District Total Market Value:  $3,553,596,000                    

 

What percentage of tax revenues is required from each county?                                 

          2010-2011                   

Wayne County  33.723%                      

Pike County      66.277%                                  

Total               100.000%

 

Has the counties’ share of tax revenues changed from last year          

Yes, Wayne County’s share of tax liability increased by .58% while Pike County’s share of tax liability has decreased by .58%

 

Why has Wayne County’s required share of the tax revenue increased substantially?

Since the State Tax Equalization Board is utilizing 2008 market value information this reflects the reassessment that was done in Wayne County. The updating of property values through this reassessment results in an increased share of taxes for residents in Wayne County.

 

Does the school district have the ability to change the equalization rates?

No, all information is provided to the school district by the State Tax Equalization Board.