Mt Pocono Walmart Granted 40% R/E Tax Assessment Reduction
With the flick of a pen, Mount Pocono just lost over $4 million dollars in commercial real estate tax value for 2020. A real estate tax assessment appeal panel of the Monroe County Board of Assessment Revision has granted the Mount Pocono Walmart a nearly 40% reduction in the assessed value of the building. This represents about a 25% overall reduction in the 2020 reassessment value assigned to that property. The Mount Pocono WalMart was originally reassessed with a total value of $16,675,180, comprised of land valued at $5,273,550, and the building at $11,401,630. On September 13, the appeal panel reduced the building value to $7,026,450 -- a reduction of $4,375,180, or 38 1/3%. They did not change the real estate valuation, so the total assessment for 2020 is now $12,300,000. The new building assessment reflects a value of under $46 a square foot. Wal Mart's parent real estate holding company purchased the land in 1999 for over $1.1 million, and built the 154,000 square foot facility in 2000. At the time, the property was assessed at a total of $1,614,050. That was under the "old" Monroe County assessment system assigning a value of roughly 25% market value for tax purposes. The new 2020 assessment is over 7 1/2 times the prior assessment. This suggests that Wal Mart Mount Pocono has been substantially under-assessed for many years. The Borough 2020 millage rate has not been set yet, but will be substantially below the current 29 1/2-mil. Based on the 2019 assessment, Mount Pocono collected over $210,000, which was just under 10% of the Borough's total budget, but nearly 20% of the current real estate taxes collected by the Borough. Under the reassessment rules, the real estate tax collected by the Borough under the new assessment cannot be more than they collected under the old assessment. The Borough will be setting the new mil rate later this year after it learns the total assessment value of taxable properties in the Borough. With the large reduction granted WalMart, and because WalMart's tax payments are a significant percent of the Borough's overall real estate tax receipts, the reduction granted this month means that the Borough's mil rate will end up higher than it would have been before the reduction.