Property Assessment

County of Lancaster The Lancaster County Property Assessment Office assesses real estate within the county for the local property tax levy. County government, 17 school districts, and most of the 60 municipalities in the county levy a property tax. For most, the property tax is their principal source of revenue. The Assessment Office maintains a listing and valuation inventory of the nearly 189,000 parcels located within the border of the county for this purpose.

Governing Laws
Lancaster County is a third class county, and the Assessment Office is administered under the Pennsylvania Third Class Assessment Law, the Pennsylvania General County Assessment Law, and the Pennsylvania Consolidated County Assessment Law.

Appeals
The Third Class County Assessment Law requires the appointment of a three-member Board of Assessment Appeals for the purpose of overseeing office administration and hearing assessment appeals. Appeals from assessment can be taken by property owners and taxing bodies alike for the purpose of correcting over- or under-assessed properties.

Appeals may be undertaken any year when filed on or before August 1, with the result effective beginning with the subsequent tax year. In addition, an appeal may be filed within 40 days of any assessment change notice issued by this office after a change has occurred to a property effectively changing its market value. This is different during a reassessment year in which the owner has 40 days to file an appeal as of the day of the reassessment notice.

Mass Appraisal
Mass appraisal for property tax purposes is guided by the concepts of market value and uniformity. Generally, the real estate market is the measure of an accurate assessment, according to the concept of market value. Uniformity requires that like properties be assessed similarly throughout the county. Lancaster County completed a countywide reassessment that became effective January 1, 2005. Assessed values are based on property market values as of January 1, 2005. The predetermined ratio is 100%.

Homestead Information
To verify that your property is enrolled in the Homestead program, search for your property using our Assessment Information Online Search. Once you have retrieved your property information, look for the Homestead Flag. If the flag shows (YES), then the property is approved.

Because our website is not updated daily, recently submitted applications may not reflect our website. Please contact our office to see if you are enrolled.

If you have recently purchased your property, please contact our office for more information.