Lycoming County (and surrounding county) residents and business owners that are in the flood zones, it’s time. Time for what you ask? Time to begin gathering information to be ready to appeal your county assessment for your real estate taxes. Ever since the congressional disaster known as Biggert-Waters began we all realized that the value of those homes have plummeted.
They plummeted due to the taint this law put on properties, plummeted due to being unable to sell those homes and businesses, plummeted due to being worthless. So, make sure you have any evidence you can gather and that you believe you need. I was told by the Lycoming County Assessment office to bring copies of flood elevation certificates if you have them, copies of flood bills, etc.
I also suggest you have an appraisal done. If you have tried to sell your home, and were unable to do so as in many cases, have your realtor provide you with a notarized statement that they showed it to “x” no. of people, and that those potential buyers walked away due to fear of the unknown with the flood insurance. If you are not satisfied with the amount the assessor comes back with, appeal!
While the assessment office will not look at the information until July 1st, they are encouraging flood zone homeowners to submit the information earlier than that. Everyone should do this ASAP. When the tax revenue begins decreasing, when it is felt by municipalities, school boards, etc. , and others have to pay additional taxes to make that up that lost revenue, I would bet that people are going to notice. Maybe then people will realize that yes, this does affect all of us.
Jeffrey W. Smead
Submitted by Virtual Newsroom