925 Court St.
Honesdale Pa. 18431-1996
Phone: (570) 253-5970 Ext. 4010
Fax: (570) 253-5418
John McCormick CPE, Chief Assessor, Appointed
Hours: 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Monday through Friday
The Wayne County Assessment Office maintains and updates real property assessment records and prepares and distributes yearly tax rolls used by Wayne County, all 28 municipalities and the 6 school districts located within the County. Property assessments are used by all taxing bodies to generate tax revenue used to pay for services performed. The Assessment Office does not set millage rates or collect property taxes.
Wayne County is a Sixth Class County. The Assessment Office is administered under the Fourth to Eighth Class and the General County Assessment Law. The Wayne County Commissioners act also as the County Board of Assessment Appeals. The Three member Board sit as a Board for the purpose of hearing property assessment appeals and occupation assessment appeals. The annual appeal filing deadline is on or before the first day of September. Municipalities and school districts may also file formal appeals on properties they believe are incorrectly assessed. The Board, acting as a Quasi-Judicial Board, hears appeals and renders a decision on the market value of the property being appealed. The Board develops rules and regulations for appeal procedures and Assessment Office operations in general. The Board approves or denies requests for property tax exemptions. Appeal forms may be obtained in the Assessment Office.
The Mapping Department receives documents recorded in the Recorder of Deeds Office. These documents are reviewed and processed by mapping technicians who update property tax maps and property ownership information. This department also reviews and approves applications for enrollment in Act 319, the preferential assessment program. Act 319, also known as the Clean and Green Act, permits the County Assessment Office to provide a reduced assessment on eligible agricultural and woodland properties. Application forms and instructions for filing are available in the Assessment Office. The yearly deadline for filing applications for the following year is June 1.
The County is in the process of transferring its tax map data from mylar (hard copies) to a digital Geographic Information System (GIS). Eventually, the tax map maintenance will be processed on the GIS System only. The Assessment Office and the 911 Mapping Coordinator are in the process of GIS map production. They will maintain several important layers of data such as municipal, road and property lines. As new subdivisions are recorded, the Mapping Department adds them to the GIS parcel layer.
The Appraisal Department is responsible for arriving at an appraised value on each property. Wayne County municipalities provide building permits for new construction or demolition to this department, which triggers a review of the property. A county Certified Pennsylvania Evaluator (CPE) appraiser will visit the property to review the improvements that are being made and establish a property value; in addition all of the 61,731 properties are reviewed each year. This data is in the process of being computerized.
Assessed values are based on property market values as of 1/1/2004. The predetermined ratio is 100%. A Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) System is currently being developed in the Assessment Office. All property data collected in the field resides on a computer file and on hard copy property record cards.
The Assessment Department clerical staff enters changes into the County Assessment Office Database master file. Change of Assessment Notices are mailed out if a change in assessment has taken place. The notice provides for a 40 day right of appeal from the mailing date on the notice. This department schedules appeal hearings on behalf of the Board of Assessment Appeals and verifies assessment totals.
This department is also responsible for the preparation and distribution of the county, municipal and school district tax rolls. The county/municipal tax bills are mailed in February of each year. School district tax rolls are mailed August 1, of each year. The Chief Assessor of the Wayne County Assessment Office is available for comments.