The State Tax Equalization Board (STEB) has released its Common Level Ratio (CLR) of assessed value to market value for each county in Pennsylvania for calendar year 2016 (applicable to tax year 2018). The CLR is used to convert aggregate taxable assessed values into equalized market values for use in a formula that determines the allocation of state subsidies to school districts. The CLR can also be used to convert fair market values into assessed values in conjunction with property tax appeals, subject to a taxpayer’s Constitutional and common law right to application of a different ratio reflecting a lower level of assessed value to fair market value in the county or for similarly situated property. The 2016 CLRs can be viewed at Notice, Dept. of Rev., 2016 Common Level Ratios, Pa. Bull. Doc. No. 17-953, Pa. Bull., Vol. 47, No. 22, 07/03/2017.

The CLR can significantly impact property tax appeal proceedings. Taxpayers in Pennsylvania should annually evaluate their assessed values and equalized assessed values, after application of the CLR, and take the necessary steps to protect their rights to uniformity in assessment, and equity and fairness in taxation.