A Tale of Two Counties – Chapter 3: An Update Regarding the Countywide Reassessments in Allegheny and Washington Counties, Pennsylvania

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Allegheny County:

On September 15, 2011, Judge R. Stanton Wettick entered a new Order in the ongoing countywide reassessment being conducted by Allegheny County pursuant to the Court's previous Order entered on December 10, 2009. Over the summer, it became apparent that Allegheny County could not finish the reassessment by the original deadline of January 2012. Because the City of Pittsburgh and the City of Pittsburgh School District issue tax bills to the property owners in their jurisdictions in January and collect most of their funds in January and February, the city and school district argued that the delay would result in a shortfall in their budgets and their ability to make debt service payments. In an effort to assure that the City of Pittsburgh and the City of Pittsburgh School District can send out accurate tax bills in January, Judge Wettick has ordered that all residential value reviewers devote 100 percent of their time to completing the assessments of the properties in the City of Pittsburgh and Mt. Oliver.

The delay of the completion of the reassessment is problematic not only for the City of Pittsburgh and the City of Pittsburgh School District, but also for every municipality which is required by state law to set its budget for 2012 by December, 31, 2011. These mandatory deadlines are found in the enabling statutes under which municipalities are permitted to set millage and collect real estate taxes on the properties within their jurisdictional limits.

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