The Pennsylvania State Tax Equalization Board recently changed the common level ratio for Lancaster County from 1.33 to 1.31. The common level ratio is the ratio of assessed value of properties to fair market value for each county.  If the fair market value equals the assessed value, the ratio would be 1.00, which is the case following an assessment.  If an assessment occurs next year, the ratio will fall to 1.00.

The common level ratio is used annually for the distribution of state subsidies for each school district and also as a measure of the fair market value of real estate for calculating realty transfer taxes.  The changes in the common level ratio reflect the changes in property value.  It is also a good measure of cost of living.  The common level ratio last year in Philadelphia, for example, was 3.13.