There's a time to reassess property values and a time not to reassess.
Now is not the time.
We're not just opining here.
The York County Board of Assessment Appeals has a resolution under which it asks the commissioners to conduct a reassessment when the common level ratio drops below 85 percent.
That ratio, which is tracked by the state Tax Equalization Board, is the difference between sale prices and assessments.
An ideal 100 percent ratio means homes are assessed at their sales prices. A number lower than 100 means the assessments are lower than sales prices, and a number above 100 means assessments are higher than sale prices.
During and after the recent recession, York County's ratio did drop below 85, and the Board of Assessment Appeals requested a countywide reassessment.
That would have been the time to do it, but the commissioners declined, citing the poor economy.
It wasn't necessarily a bad decision; although some assessments would have come down, who knows how many more would have gone up, meaning a higher tax bill for those property owners?
Plus the county would have had to shell out the $1 million to $1.5 million cost of a reassessment at a time it also was trying to tighten its belt.
Since 2011, however, the ratio has been moving in the right direction, settling at 89.2 for 2012, the most recent figure available.
Yet a county official is again calling for a countywide reassessment.
Treasurer Barbara Bair says it's needed to lower the number of assessment appeals that are costing the county tax revenue.
While it's true the number of appeals grew immediately after the recession -- from 421 in 2009 to 1,759 in 2012 -- that, too, is moving in the right direction. For the 2013 fiscal year that ended Aug. 1, the number of appeals dropped to 1,325.
It's also true the county now owes $150,000 over the $200,000 it had budgeted for successful appeals, but that amount -- almost to the dollar -- can be attributed to a single appeal by a large business.
The owners of the large ES3 warehouse in Conewago Township saw its property's assessment drop from $132 million to $113.7 million, and the county now has to send back about $157,000 paid while the appeal was being made.
One faulty assessment, however, does not justify reassessing every property in the county.
Even E. John Fedor, director of the Assessment and Tax Claim Office, agrees.
"The common level ratio and the appeals will level out," he said. "It would cost more to reassess than it would be worth."
At least one county commissioner said he doesn't think he and his colleagues will agree to Bair's request.
Commissioner Steve Chronister cited timing, and also the likely objections from the public, which "thinks a reassessment is a back-door way of raising taxes anyway."
There's that, too.