Luzerne County sets assessment for Mohegan Sun Pocono casino

By Jennifer Learn-Andes - | June 20th, 2016 1:55 pm

PLAINS TWP. — The Mohegan Sun Pocono casino’s new property tax assessment will be $152.5 million, Luzerne County Manager C. David Pedri announced Monday.

The casino had no active assessment because its past real estate tax payments were flat amounts dictated by a 2007 court-approved assessment appeal agreement that expired the end of 2015.

Under this agreement, the casino paid $2.9 million last year to the three taxing bodies. The breakdown: $2.01 million, Wilkes-Barre Area School District; $653,360, county; and $261,460, township.

Although these payments had no correlation to an assessment, a property valued at $113.7 million would have paid $653,360 in county taxes last year.

The county is in the process of mailing a change-of-assessment notice to Mohegan Sun, which is owned by Connecticut-based Downs Racing LP. The casino has the right to challenge the value.

Mohegan Sun Pocono representatives could not immediately be reached for comment on the new assessment.

The Wilkes-Barre Area School School District also has the power to file a reverse appeal arguing for a higher value if district officials believe the assessment is too low.

The county hired Media, Pennsylvania-based Coyle, Lynch & Company to complete an appraisal for the new assessed value. County officials wanted an expert’s input because casino valuations are complicated. Several other Pennsylvania counties with casinos have used a a similar approach.

The Mohegan Sun complex is 264 acres.

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By Jennifer Learn-Andes

Reach Jennifer Learn-Andes at 570-991-6388 or on Twitter @TLJenLearnAndes.