Monday, December 26, 2011

Random mashup

Random hits while things have been slow:

Analysis from Willow looks at aggregate real estate valuation across regional markets and Pittsburgh is one of a rare few regions where the value of real estate went up last year.   I realize everyone writes this off as just some "we didn't boom, so we didn't bust" meme, but that is last years explanation and this has all gone beyond reversion to the mean for Pittsburgh. 

PG is doing a series on coal, reflecting I suspect a realization that all things are not shale.  King Coal stories would legitimately go back a century or two for Pittsburgh.  But more recently there was a point when all things energy, and especially coal, here were written off as old news.  Thus they had been relegated to obscure indicators.

Speaking of real estate value going up...  ASSESSMENT TIME IS HERE*.  Stories will be fodder for everyone for months if not the year.  There will be neverending news cycles that start with: 1) Gosh, where did values go up? 2) Gee where did values go down? 3) How much will my taxes be going up? 4) The confusion of the appeals process?  5)The scale of appeals the county needs to deal with? 6) How did this all happen?  7) What is going on with assessments in other Pennsylvania counties? 8) What are those bums in Harrisburg doing about assessments? 9) Will my municipality/school district be resetting rates and when? and 10) The epilogue: when will we be doing this whole assessment thing again?

To not repeat on the most immediate of questions I had a post last year: So you want to calculate your new property tax bill?     

and h/t to Jim Russell for this neat little snippet.  Pittsburgh needs make welcome to the Bhutanese.  I like to think I know my geography, but I had to look that one up.  I am not so good on landlocked nations. I'd give some historical stats on the local Bhutanese population, but that isn't quite possible.  It looks like a Cleveburgh story though and the Cleveland Plain Dealer was on the story earlier this month.  Who knew?

* Can we really be so sure of this?  Could there be anything else that holds this up with Judge Wettick promised that the city values will go into the mail tomorrow. I'm sure all those letters are stuffed and franked and just waiting for the post office to open Tuesday morning to go out. I'd honestly be more surprised at this point if they actually do go out.  Who knows what could go wrong in the mailing of 150K letters give or take. Maybe the franking machine breaks and the repair person is on a long weekend holiday.


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