Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for State Tax Equalization Board (STEB) and Tax Equalization Division (TED)
What is the Common Level Ratio (CLR)?

The Common Level Ratio (CLR) is a ratio that measures how a county’s Base Year Assessments compare with current Real Estate Market Valuations. Further defined in Pennsylvania law, “Common Level Ratio shall mean the ratio of assessed value to current market value used generally in the county as last determined by the State Tax Equalization Board (STEB).”

How is the Common Level Ratio (CLR) calculated?

Pennsylvania law mandates STEB to use “statistically acceptable techniques” in arriving at the CLR. STEB is required to publicly disclose its methodology in computing the ratios and publish this information in the Pennsylvania Bulletin each year. *Please refer to the STEB Policy and Procedures Manual for CLR for this process.

How is the Common Level Ratio (CLR) used?

The CLR is used in the appeal process only, when a county’s Pre-Determined Ratio (PDR) differs more than 15%. NOTE: With the exception of a county’s interpretation of recent court cases and that is; to use the current CLR at all times in appeals regardless of the variance. The CLR is applied after the Board of Assessment Appeals/Revisions establishes a fair market value, based on evidence, to calculate a revised assessment value. The CLR is never used for any other purpose nor used in determining market value.

What is the Pre-Determined Ratio (PDR)?

The Pre-Determined Ratio (PDR) is the fixed ratio set by the county commissioners at the time of reassessment. The ratio can be set up to 100 percent and is further defined, in Pennsylvania law, “Established Pre-Determined Ratio shall mean the ratio of assessed value to market value established and uniformly applied in determining assessed value in any year.”

When are the market values certified?

The market values are certified annually to the Department of Education and the respective school districts on or before July 1 of each year.

How are the market values used?

These market values are used by the Department of Education as one factor in a legislative formula for the distribution of the state subsidies to each school district.

*Please refer to the STEB Policy and Procedures Manual for Market Values for this process.

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