After the county sent out its reassessment figures, 260 Upper Macungie taxpayers challenged the figures, along with thousands of other Lehigh County homeowners. As a result, the county extended to deadline to file a challenge.
Now, 687 taxpayers in Upper Macungie have asked Lehigh County for a review of their property reassessments.
These Upper Macungie taxpayers are among 13,644 countywide who have asked for a review.
According to information provided by Lehigh County, of those requesting reviews in the township:
- 469 are for residential properties. (Out of 6,988 properties))
- 130 are for commercial properties. (Out of 455 properties)
- 88 are for vacant land. (Out of 723 properties)
While most are expected to seek a lower tax burden, others may want to correct information about their property, such as lot size or number of rooms.
In fact, of those in Upper Macungie who are seeking reviews, nearly 27 percent are on properties where the county has already projected that taxes will go down, according to information from the county.
"We won't really know until we get into it" as to why people want reviews, said Tom Muller, the county's director of administration. Also, he said, a local newspaper's computer analyses of properties had a glitch and incorrectly tabulated the tax burden on a number of residential properties, which could have generated more requests.
Property owners had until Friday, March 23, to request a review, after the county extended the deadline. Lehigh County will schedule the reviews for mid-March through mid-June.
The reviews will be fact-finding sessions. Property owners will meet with an assessor and make their case for a lower reassessment, if, for example, they are seeking a lower tax burden. The assessor can address how the property values were derived and discuss the property owner's issues with the reassesment.
Muller has said that in most cases, the assessor will not make a final decision. An on-site visit may be necessary. He said property owners will get a formal decision in writing and may opt to go to a formal appeal.
Muller said the county is considering the possibility of having commercial reviews go directly to formal appeal.
More property owners in Upper Macungie are expected to see their county taxes fall, rather than rise, under the Lehigh County property reassessment.