December 21st: An Important Date
And we are not talking Mayan calendar here. In our seemingly never ending reassessment story, the Judge overseeing the process has given the County that date to get total assessed values as a result of the reassessment to municipalities. The municipalities, which all run on a calendar year for fiscal purposes, will then have until the end of January to finalize their budgets (some are already done). As appeals come in, those that affect a given municipality will be forwarded on so that millage rates can be accurately calculated to comply with requirements under Act 71.
The PA Supreme Court rendered its decision on the County’s base year in April of 2009 and gave the County Court of Common Pleas the charge of determining a "reasonable time frame". Most reports this year as the process went on put December 17th as the day cities and towns would get the numbers from the County, but that is now four days later. An official from the appeals board stated that 90% of the residential appeals would be done by the 21st.
Note that school districts, with the exception of Pittsburgh Public Schools, will start their budget process in early 2013 under the Act 1 requirements.