SCRANTON -- In November, voters in Lackawanna County will decide whether to reassess every piece of property in the county.
You may wonder why there's a movement to do something the county hasn't done in 50 years
A reassessment basically makes taxing rates fairer.
Some people will pay less in property taxes and some people will pay more.
This is not the first time in the past 50 years that commissioners in Lackawanna County have brought up the idea of a county-wide tax reassessment.
The three commissioners are split on the idea. Commissioner Laureen Cummings is against it, while Commissioner Jerry Notarianni supports it. Commissioner Pat O'Malley thinks the voters should decide.
"At this time, I believe the only way that this could happen is to make a motion that a referendum for reassessment be put on the November general election ballot for the citizens to make their decision on reassessment," said Commissioner Pat O'Malley,(D) Lackawanna County.
The commissioners voted 2 to 1 for a referendum to appear on November's ballot.
Ralph Chase came to speak at the meeting. He was part of a reassessment effort in 1972.
"It was $4-5 million in '72. I would guess today, the cost is probably $12-18 million," said Chase.
A county-wide property reassessment would take several years and several million dollars these days.
County officials estimate it would cost $8 -12 million. That would be paid for in one of two ways. The county could take out a loan or it could raise taxes by an estimated 15 percent.
Some people fear the reassessment itself could raise property taxes, especially for people who have lived in their homes since the last reassessment in the 1960s.
"It's just not fair to these older residents to do this to them," said Jermyn resident Katie Hosey.
Homeowners also asked the commissioners for help in understanding how a reassessment could affect them
"Education, education, education, before it is even put on the ballot, town meetings," said Joanne Wilson of Jermyn. "They're very, very important."
Lackawanna County is one of only a handful of counties in Pennsylvania that has gone so long without a reassessment. Most states in the country require counties to do it every few years.