Times Leader: Missed Properties Added to Luzerne County, PA, Tax Rolls
Updated June 2018
Luzerne County, Pennsylvania is home to Wilkes-Barre, the fourth largest city in Pennsylvania. But with nearly 900 square miles of land, the county needed something to help it detect new construction without a permit in rural areas.
To identify building footprint changes, the county chose Pictometry® imagery and the ChangeFinder™ solution from EagleView. ChangeFinder pinpointed all building footprint changes that occurred between 2008 and 2016, according to the Times Leader in Wilkes-Barre.
Since implementing the solution in April, the county has added $3.75 million in real estate to the tax rolls. This added real estate equates to $22,427 in county tax revenue, in addition to revenue directed toward school districts and municipalities.
The county will continue to review these properties and check for building permits for any new construction in the coming months.
County Budget/Finance Division Head Brian Swetz said Monday the assessor’s office review of the list will continue in coming months. He also plans analysis of the added properties to identify geographic areas that may warrant more monitoring in the future, possibly due to issues with building permits.
These permits are the primary way the county learns about new construction. Owners sometimes fail to obtain permits as required, particularly in rural areas with large tracts where construction is not visible from highways, officials have said. The assessor’s office also has pushed municipalities to consistently forward their permits to the county.
Read the rest of the article in the Times Leader.
As of June, the county has added $8.6 million in real estate to the tax rolls. That equates to approximately $51,000 in county revenue, not including receipts for impacted school districts and municipalities. The county has reviewed just half of the properties flagged in ChangeFinder and will continue its review.