Washington County Opens Bids

Late last week Washington County opened bids from four contractors interested in undertaking a countywide reassessment, one that is moving ahead after years of delay and court battles as we documented this year (here and here). A newspaper article states that the companies are essentially the same as the ones who expressed interest in 2009, before the matter went to court.

So what are assessors getting ready for? As we noted in the latter Brief, the state passed legislation that moved the State Equalization Board into the Department of Community and Economic Development: the board is now known as the Tax Equalization Division, and its section of DCED’s website has a couple of interesting links to data.

The total assessed value of property in Washington County in 2011 was $1,550 million: that counts value from residential, trailers, seasonal, lots, industrial, commercial, agriculture, oil/gas/minerals, and land (by way of comparison Allegheny County’s 2011 market value measured by TED was $58,906 million). About 68% of the $1.5 billion in Washington County is tied to "residential" (statewide the average was 69%) and one-quarter of the residential value is concentrated in Peters Township. When the municipalities of North Strabane and Cecil are added, just over 45% of all the residential value in Washington County is accounted for.

Of much interest will be the value of the oil/gas/mineral category given the focus of Marcellus Shale activity in the County. There were two municipalities that the TED data shows has more than $5 million in assessed value for this category. East Finley Township had $10.7 million and South Franklin Township had $6.2 million.