ACE Candidate Advocates Law Breaking By Pittsburgh Schools

ACE Candidate Advocates Law Breaking By Pittsburgh Schools

Not satisfied with promising to violate his own oath office to obey the law-assuming he is elected County Executive-Mr. Fitzgerald is now suggesting the Pittsburgh School Board refuse to accept the revaluations coming early next year. Judge Wettick ruled against the County’s base year, the Supreme Court upheld Wettick and ordered a reassessment. Judge Wettick ordered the assessment completed for use in 2012.

Does the rule of law mean nothing to the candidate? He is still arguing that the ruling was unfair and the state must fix its assessment laws before the County is forced to revalue properties. Sorry, the state constitution is clear and the Courts have ruled as such. Fixing the state’s laws is a good idea, but it is not likely any time soon and large numbers of Allegheny property owners are being treated in a grossly unfair way by having property values that are too high or accurate while many thousands have underassessed properties and are not paying their fair share of taxes.

Why is it so hard for that simple fact to be understood? Of course, it is all politics. Those who are almost certain to see their properties revalued at much higher levels are the folks the candidate is appealing to. Fairness has nothing to do with it. It is all about avoiding the anger of those who have been getting a very sweet deal on their taxes for years.

The Judge should warn the candidate that comments recommending a taxing body reject the new assessments are tantamount to urging criminal behavior. Moreover, the Judge should tell the candidate that promising to violate one’s oath of office before one has taken the oath will not be tolerated. Indeed, such a candidate should not be sworn in until he disavows promises to break the law. This is intolerable. Elected officials in open defiance of the courts must be sanctioned. Otherwise we can kiss the rule of law and respect for the courts goodbye.