Allegheny County's Reassessment – December 2011 Update


The Supreme Court Rejects Allegheny County Council's Petition for Relief from the Reassessment, and the County Appeals Judge Wettick's "Two Track" Assessment Orders

This week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied a Petition for Extraordinary Relief that Allegheny County Council filed in March 2011, seeking a stay of the reassessment and requesting that the Supreme Court establish a test for determining when a county's property assessment scheme violates the Uniformity Clause of the Pennsylvania Constitution. Notably, however, Justice Baer filed a passionate four-page dissent. Justice Baer contends that it is time for the Supreme Court to fill the void left by the General Assembly for establishing a test regarding when a county's assessment is not sufficiently uniform.

Meanwhile, the county recently initiated an appeal of Judge Wettick's recent orders regarding the reassessment with the Commonwealth Court, and filed an Emergency Application for Extraordinary Relief in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The county is expected to argue in the appellate courts that Judge Wettick's recent orders should be reversed for three reasons: First, to best assure the accuracy of the reassessment, property owners should have an opportunity to file informal appeals decided before the reassessment figures are certified. Second, all of the county's properties' reassessed values should be certified at one time, and not piecemeal, as is currently contemplated. Third, it is improper for the court to provide special treatment to the City of Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Public Schools with respect to the reassessment process.

Please see full Alert below for further information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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