The mission of the Tax Appraising Department is to produce and support estimates of real property values through systematic procedures, and administer policies faithfully, uniformly, and professionally; always remaining cognizant that good administration of the Tax Appraising Department and ad valorem tax system is essential for adequate funding of local government services.
Property taxes are the main source of revenue for the County of Adams and its local municipalities and school districts. Tax assessments are directly derived from Fair Market Values of properties within the county. It is the goal of the Tax Appraising Department to ensure that all properties are valued correctly and uniformly. By examining building permits, making routine field visits throughout the county and consultation with property owners, we discover, identify and collect information on property types and characteristics. Trained and certified employees of the Appraising Department known as Certified Pennsylvania Evaluators (CPE's) use this information to formulate Fair Market Values. Fair Market Values are calculated using nationally accepted professional standards and appraisal techniques, and with the assistance of the Computer Aided Mass Appraisal system (CAMA) to insure fairness and equity in property values.
Once values are established, property owners have the right to question the accuracy of the information contained in the property records database by contacting the Appraising Department. If they are aggrieved by their fair market value, they may appeal that value, and open their file for review by a CPE.
The CPE will review the appeal to ensure that the information and values are correct and justifiable, making recommendations to the Adams County Board of Assessment Appeals whether or not to change the value. Appraising department personnel will be present at appeal hearings to defend their recommendations.
Information of all property records is constantly maintained in the CAMA and accessible to the public free of charge by utilizing the public access terminals located in the Appraising Department. Property owners are encouraged to contact the Tax Appraising Department with any questions regarding their property or real estate appraisal and taxation in general.