Property reassessment is finally becoming a reality in Washington County.
After five years of legal filings, delays, appeals and controversy, Washington County commissioners said on Wednesday that they have agreed to hire Tyler Technologies, the same firm that conducted the 2013 reassessment project in Allegheny County. The contract for Tyler Technologies, which is based in Moraine, Ohio, is for $6.96 million.
Tyler Technologies, which submitted the lowest bid, will utilize aerial photography as well as temporary help in taking photos on foot and also using vans with roof-mounted cameras. None of the Tyler employees are permitted to enter any residence.
“We are confident in our selection of the awardee of the contract and their abilities to provide good assessment services,” Washington County commissioner Larry Maggi said in a statement he read at the start of a press conference. “We are not confident, however, that reassessment will be in the best interest of those we serve.”
The process will take quite a while, as Tyler’s contract states that Washington County property owners will receive notice of their assessment no later than July 1, 2016.
Tyler Technologies will spend the next two years gathering information and photos of the 116,000 parcels of property in Washington County. Property owners will are scheduled receive informal reassessment values in early 2016 to allow the informal appeal process to begin.
The last reassessment held in Washington County was 1981. The Washington and McGuffey school districts successfully sued the county to force the project but Washington County commissioners have delayed the court-ordered action hoping for the state Legislature to change how counties conduct property reassessments.
That change never came.
The vote to award the contract to Tyler Technologies will take place at the commissioners’ meeting on Thursday.