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County Executive Rich Fitzgerald: Toss Your Reassessment

(Credit: KDKA)

(Credit: KDKA)

Andy Sheehan Andy Sheehan
KDKA-TV Investigator Andy Sheehan began his broadcast journalism...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald says he’s throwing out the reassessed property values and suggests homeowners do the same.

Defying a judge and a court order, Fitzgerald says he is shutting down the reassessment, declaring the new assessment values null and void.

“That rescinds and makes null and void the numbers that went out a week ago,” he said.

Fitzgerald is sending out letters to city property owners, telling them to throw out those new assessment values and is shutting down the informal appeals.

“Nobody needs to come down to their informal appeal anymore,” he said. “Basically they won. They just won their battle.”

His move to stop the reassessment comes just hours after Judge R. Stanton Wettick said he’d consider delaying the implementation of the assessment for one year.

But Fitzgerald says that’s not good enough.

“I’m not for putting it off for a year,” he said. “I’m for putting it off until we are treated just the way every other county in this state is treated.”

Doubters say that Fitzgerald’s strategy will not work.

“We started with the Common Pleas Court, we went up to the Supreme Court and we’re back at the Common Pleas Court and we have court orders,” Heather Heidlebaugh, Allegheny County Councilwoman at large, said. “So, I don’t believe that the current plan to derail the process in face of almost a decade of litigation is going to be successful.”

Fitzgerald says he’ll stick to his guns, not worried about being held in contempt of court or even being sent to jail.

“You know what, you got to worry about a lot of things, Andy, in this business, so I’m worried about taxpayers losing their homes and having taxes go up and that’s who I’m worried about more than anybody else,” he said.

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