RSR saves dream of turning historic Hershey factory silos into a hotel or condos

Two years ago Jim O’Shell and three friends jumped at a chance to own a part of Hershey chocolate history and bought the towering yellow silos adjacent to the iconic twin smokestacks that were part of the original candy factory.

The partners paid $100,000 for the 2.5 acre property, which includes the 24 towering concrete silos arranged in two rows of 12, as well as six lower “star silos’’ nestled in the center of the rows.

Today, the partners remain hopeful that they can connect with a developer who can turn the cavernous spaces into condos or perhaps a luxury hotel, as was done with another group of silos that became the Quaker Square Inn at Ohio’s University of Akron.

But their dreams almost turned into a nightmare after the Dauphin County Office of Tax Assessment valued the silos at $2 million – meaning the new owners would be paying more than $100,000 every year in property taxes.

With the end of July the deadline to file a Dauphin County assessment appeal for this year, the saga of the silo assessment and the lesson for all property owners is a story worth telling. Cumberland County’s deadline is Sept. 1.

Read the full article at – RSR Realtors

Wondering if you’re paying too much in property taxes?

Start by figuring out the Common Level Ratio

The Common-Level-Ratio is used every day in the real estate community but is a mystery to most property owners and many real estate professionals. Since Counties do not reassess every year a method to measure increases in values is necessary to aid in assessing newly built improvements or recent subdivisions.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania collects a transfer tax of one (1%) percent on each sale. They keep tract of these transactions and develop what is known as the STEB (State Tax Equalization Board) report for each County. By taking the total value of sales and dividing the current assessments they then have a factor or a percentage that they can then use to assess as new house or office building.

As an example, if the total transfer tax in a County totaled $200,000,000 for the year and the assessments on these properties were $100,000,000 the Common-Level-Ratio would be 2.0 or 50% for the calendar year. When values change, the ratio changes. After a reassessment the CLR reverts to 100%, but today if the ratio was 75% (as in Dauphin County) and your tax bill states your property is assessed at $225,000, the market value is actually $300,000 ($225,000 •*• .75).

So the next time you receive your tax bill take a minute to look at your assessment and find your CLR. That will help you determine what your county tax assessor believes is the real market value of your property.

Are you over-assessed, under-assessed or right on?

If the answer is over-assessed, call us today at 717-763-1212 and learn how we can help.