Tax assess ruling reaches wide

By Karamagi Rujumba and Ed Blazina / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

As many as 60 of the 67 counties in Pennsylvania are vulnerable to a legal challenge to their property assessment systems as a result of the Supreme Court decision that overturned Allegheny County’s assessment system Wednesday.

One of the attorneys who handled that case said yesterday he is ready to file suit in neighboring counties if they don’t take steps to reassess property values in their counties on their own.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/region/tax-assess-ruling-reaches-wide-340287/#ixzz24CKGQDVA

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The $2M question: How to spend it

By Rich Cholodofsky

Published: Tuesday, July 10, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
Updated: Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Westmoreland officials expect to receive up to a $2 million check on Dec. 1, the county’s portion of Marcellus shale impact fees.

Just how to spend that cash, though, is still a question, so commissioners want the public’s opinion.

Commissioners on Monday at the courthouse conducted the first of five evening meetings, four of which will be in municipalities around the county, asking how the money should be spent. Read more

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Fontana Re-Introduces Assessment Moratorium Legislation

Fontana Re-Introduces Assessment Moratorium Legislation

BROOKLINE, September 30, 2011 – State Sen. Wayne D. Fontana today filed legislation imposing a moratorium on all court-ordered assessments in the Commonwealth through November 2012, or until the state acts on assessment reforms. There are seven co-sponsors on the legislation.

“In Western PA, and especially Allegheny County, it seems a bit like ‘Groundhog Day’ as we continue to call for changes to the assessment system. I am extremely grateful that seven of my colleagues have joined me in co-sponsoring this legislation, but am disappointed that more members don’t see the need for changes,” said Fontana. “While I understand that the counties they represent are not faced with a reassessment, it doesn’t change the fact that there is an inequity here that we have to address. A state-wide moratorium will allow us to help Allegheny County communities avoid the tremendous burden that comes with reassessment while protecting homeowners and reforming the current system.” Read more

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County hopefuls support statewide assessment

Saturday, October 01, 2011
By Len Barcousky, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Both candidates for Allegheny County executive threw their support behind statewide standards for property assessment and backed alternatives to real estate taxes.

Democrat Rich Fitzgerald and Republican D. Raja made their remarks during a panel discussion Friday before members of the Realtors Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh. Read more

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Fontana Re-Introduces Assessment Moratorium Legislation

BROOKLINE, September 30, 2011 – State Sen. Wayne D. Fontana today filed legislation imposing a moratorium on all court-ordered assessments in the Commonwealth through November 2012, or until the state acts on assessment reforms.  There are seven co-sponsors on the legislation.

Earlier this month, the county was ordered to complete all assessments in the city first in a move to save the city and its schools as much as $2 million in short-term borrowing costs if not completed on time.  The county must certify the updated values in the city by January 1st.  The county, however, is asking the judge to reconsider his order.  If assessors are allowed to follow their original schedule, all taxing bodies could have aggregate numbers by January 15th.   The numbers would be uncertified and preliminary, but would be accurate enough to allow all taxing jurisdictions to set their tax rates.  If there are not changes made to the order, the non-city municipalities and school districts will not receive their property values until March or April. Read more

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Belle Vernon Area eyes early budget process

By Jeff Pikulsky
VALLEY INDEPENDENT
Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Belle Vernon Area School Board will begin budget preparations early in case a significant real estate tax increase is needed next year. Article

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Local property taxes among highest in U.S.

By Tom Fontaine
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hundreds of counties have higher median property tax bills than Allegheny County, but the local burden is among the heaviest in the nation when factoring in home values, an analysis of census data shows. Article

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