PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – For the first time since 1981, Washington County property is getting reassessed.

That’s 85,000 parcels of property, 72,000 of which have structures – homes or commercial properties.

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“The properties will all be equalized,” said Washington County Assessor Robert Neil. “Everybody will be paying their fair share.”

Data collectors will hit the streets in residential areas beginning Thursday at 8:30 a.m. wearing chartreuse vest and identification badges.

They’ll be ringing doorbells and asking homeowners very specific questions.

“How many bedrooms do you have? How many bathrooms do you have? Is the basement finished?” says Wesley Graham, of Tyler Technologies.

The assessments begin Thursday in the fifth ward of the City of Washington.

But it’s estimated that more than half of the people won’t be at home when the process begins. And if you’re not, they’ll leave a form on your door. But it’s your responsibility to fill that form out and return it.

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The form is bright yellow. Graham says providing information to the data collectors will only help the reassessment process.

“We don’t want to value the property any higher than what it should be,” he said.

But say reassessment, and people automatically think one thing – higher taxes.

“They’re going to raise it. You know they’re going raise it,” said Sam Calabro, a Washington County resident.

But for Washington County, this is just phase one.

The new tax bills, higher or lower, won’t even come out until 2017. And be on the lookout for the vans that will be doing drive-bys, taking photos of every property, too. It’s all part of the process.


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Lynne Hayes-Freeland