Tuesday, February 06, 2007

assessments in the news again... and again... and again

Last week was groundhog day, but as I said long ago, it's always groundhog day when it comes to property assessments in Allegheny County. Think the news over property assessments is over? It may be just beginning. Mr. Prothonotary explains that today the final briefs in the ongoing legal battle over county assessments should be filed. Judge Wettick may issue a ruling any time after that.

What? you say... didn't we get through this? The County has implemented a base-year system and we don't need to worry about this any longer.

Well, maybe or maybe not. The current litigation is based on the constitutionality of the base-year system itself. If the Judge rules against Allegheny County's use of the system, it will surely be appealed to higher courts which could then impact property assessment across all counties in the commonwealth..... or not.

How long has this been really going on? For the history wonk, some interesting yet amazingly relevant points are in the Jaffurs report from 1976. In it you will learn that even through the late 70's the main documentation of most properties in the county were in the form of WPA -era line drawings. no joke. That little invention named the polaroid camera was just too newfangled a device to be used here.

The bottom line. Stand by.

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