Back in September of 2009, we noted in a Policy Brief that attempts for the Legislature to pass a law that would stop court decisions from mandating property reassessments would create "…an explosive Constitutional crisis". It seems simple: the courts would be telling a county "do a reassessment" while the General Assembly would be telling the county "don’t do a reassessment". That September mention came months after the Supreme Court ruled that Allegheny County’s base year plan violated the uniformity clause of the Constitution and remanded the matter back to the County courts.
Nearly three years later, just as the budget deliberations were wrapping up, the moratorium issue came up again and was discussed as a larger piece of legislation dealing with the agency that handles issues related to assessments. The moratorium would have applied to Allegheny and Washington Counties.
No doubt the results will be decried by officials in those two counties as well as by legislators who pushed for the moratorium. But what about the counties that are scheduled to see new reassessed values go into effect in 2013 like Allegheny County?
Lehigh, Lebanon, and Erie Counties are all expected to have new values. Lebanon’s came about because of a court decision at the Common Pleas level. Same with Adams County, which completed its reassessment in 2011. Why aren’t legislators and the public hearing from the experiences in these counties?