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Lancaster County Assessor / Register of Deeds

2019 Preliminary Values and the Informal Hearing Process

Role of the Assessor

Why has my valuation changed for 2019?
Changes in the real estate market are the likely reason for your value change. Since the county assessor is required by law to assess all taxable property at market value, when the market changes significantly, assessed values follow suit.
Assessed value changes may also be due to physical changes to your property that affected its market value. Additions, renovations, demolition of existing structures, or physical deterioration are common examples.

How does the Assessor’s office evaluate the real estate market?
The Assessor’s office studies the real estate market in each area using recent sale prices. Since sales are directly recorded in the Assessor/Register of Deed’s office, the sale information is considered up-to-date and sales are individually verified by members of the assessment staff.
Sale prices are considered a strong indicator of market value, so our team compares the sale price to the last recorded assessed value. When the market trend in an area shows that sale prices have significantly increased or decreased since the last assessment, a revaluation is necessary to ensure assessments reflect market value as required by law.

How is my assessed value determined?
The assessed value of your property is based on the recent sales of properties in your area that have similar characteristics to yours (age, square footage, type of construction, etc.) A listing of the comparable sales used for residential assessment is attached to the property information page. CLICK HERE to access Lancaster County property information. A search is available by parcel ID (PID), owner name, or property address.

What if my assessed value is higher than I could sell it for?
If you have information that shows the assessed value of your property is above its market value, you are encouraged to schedule an informal hearing to meet with the staff appraiser for your property.

What if my property information listed is incorrect?
Accuracy of property information is important, since the value of your property is partially dependent on that information. Major errors may affect the assessed value, but minor changes may not. If you are concerned the listing information is in error, please schedule an informal hearing to meet with the staff appraiser for your property.

How do I schedule an informal hearing?
Access your property information on our website, and click the “Appeal” link. You may also schedule by calling our office at (402) 441-7463.

Can I schedule a single hearing for multiple properties I own?
Yes. Please call our office at (402) 441-7463 to schedule.

How long does the hearing last for each property?
Residential hearings are scheduled for 15 minutes.
Agricultural hearings are scheduled for 20 minutes.
Commercial hearings are scheduled for 30 minutes.

What should I bring to my hearing?
Since the hearings can move quickly, it is best that you come with your information prepared in advance. Any information that supports your opinion is helpful. Common examples include:
  1. A recent appraisal (within 12 months)
  2. Evidence of a recent sale of the property
  3. Recent sales of similar properties in the area
  4. Photos of property’s physical condition
  5. Income, vacancy and expense data (for commercial or investment property)
  6. Discounted Cash flow data (for development land)
  7. FSA maps or other data showing different land use or soil types (Agricultural land)

My hearing is complete, so how will I know if my value has changed?
Final values will be posted on the website by March 25th, and final valuation notices will be mailed to all owners whose value changed from 2018 to 2019.

What if I still disagree with the 2019 valuation?
Formal protests to the County Board of Equalization may be filed with the County Clerk from June 1st to July 1st. More information on the protest process can be found at this site:

Can I leave feedback regarding the customer service in the Assessor’s Office?
Yes. Your feedback is important and helps us ensure our customer service standards are being consistently met. To leave feedback, please email your comments to

Property taxes, and the role of your assessor:
Your property tax bill represents your share of the budgets approved by local taxing bodies for their operations. Property taxes are the primary source of funding for local governments and public education. The role of your assessor is to fairly and objectively establish market value estimates for all taxable property, as accurately as possible. That valuation later determines the share of the budgets paid by each property owner. At this stage of the process, informal hearings are just that: an informal hearing to discuss your property valuation. Discussion on property taxes involve the taxing bodies, budgets, and tax rates that have not yet been established.