SUNBURY — Northumberland County has received 59 property assessment appeals following the largest drop in the Common Level Ratio (CLR) in recent memory, according to Northumberland County Chief Assessor Tiffany Kaseman. 

CLR is calculated by measuring how a county's Base Year Assessments compare with current Real Estate Market values, said Kaseman.

The State Tax Equalization Board set the ratio at 14.4 percent for this year, down from 20.7 percent in the previous year.

"Commercial property owners know how to use the routine of the CLR dripping and appealing immediately. It doesn't guarantee that our value is wrong, but they are definitely making the attempt," Kaseman said.

Since CLR is a blanket ratio for all properties and since properties in Northumberland County were last reassessed in 1972, it can be misleading, and misrepresentative of different properties’ market values. In application, it is not an accurate measure where one size fits all, said Kaseman.


Hearings set

Those 59 Northumberland County properties will be the subject of property assessment appeal hearings in Northumberland County in October. There are 37 commercial/industrial appeals, 18 residential, two Public Utility Realty Tax Act (PURTA) appeals, one tax-exempt challenge and one mineral rights, according to the assessment office.

Milton-based Con-Agra Food Inc., under the legal name of American Home Foods Inc., and Cole ID Milton PA LLC, on behalf of its tenant Con-Agra, has the largest amount of tax revenue at stake with $769,191 for six appeals of its main plant, research facility, three parking lots and Cole ID Milton's 71 acres and a warehouse in the Milton Industrial Park, according to assessment records.

The appeal does not list what Con-Agra is seeking as its new assessed value and a representative of Con-Agra was unable to be reached.

The tax revenue from the main plant and research facility consists of $59,813 to the county, $35,924 to the Milton borough and $133,279 to the Milton Area School District. The Cole ID Milton property consists of $141,080 to the county, $84,735 to the borough and $314,363 to the school district, according to records.

The Walmart at 9300 Route 61 in Coal Township has the second-largest amount of tax revenue at stake with $207,480, consisting of $63,400 to the county, $73,180 to the township and $70,900 to the Shamokin Area School District.

Marsh Road Real Estate is appealing two warehouse properties in Milton. The total tax revenue is $166,378. Patton Commercial in Milton is appealing its warehouse at 298 Industrial Park Road. The total tax revenue is $146,995.


Other appeals

Madison Court 1 LP appealed for the apartment complex in Shamokin; Coal Township Limited Partnership appealed for the high rise in Coal Township; Milton Associates appealed an apartment complex in Milton.

Norfolk Southern Railway Company is appealing, under PURTA, the assessment of property in Riverside and West Chillisquaque. PURTA properties are not assessed locally; rather the assessed value is determined by the state for tax calculations.

Natalie Mountain Estates is appealing the mineral rights of its property on Natalie Mountain. Mineral rights are not assessed the same as surface property rights.

The appeals board is comprised of Northumberland County Commissioners Sam Schiccatano, Joe Klebon and Kymberley Best. The appeal hearings will take place on Oct. 8, 9, 14 and 15.

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