LAWRENCE COUNTY A hard look at home values

NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Lawrence County officials are still poring over preliminary numbers for new county property assessments.
Officials received the figures last week from Manatron Sabre Systems of Miamisburg, Ohio, the company hired to evaluate property and assign new values.
Property owners should get the new values on their homes sometime next month, said Commissioner Ed Fosnaught. Consultants hired by the county are now checking the numbers for accuracy,he said.
This is the county's first property reassessment since 1966. County officials were forced into reassessment after the city of New Castle threatened a lawsuit.
City officials were concerned others weren't paying their fair share of taxes and eventually came to an agreement with the county for reassessment.
Next: When county officials are finished reviewing the preliminary values set by Manatron, those values will be mailed to property owners.
Property owners who want to dispute those numbers will be able to go through an informal appeal process set up by Manatron Sabre through April.
A formal appeal process handled by the county will follow later this year.
Fosnaught said county commissioners are still trying to decide how property will be taxed in the future. The county now taxes 75 percent of the assessed value of a person's property. Commissioners are considering assessing it at 50 percent or 100 percent, he added.

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