Judge Considers Postponing Implementation Of Reassessments
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — An Allegheny County judge is considering postponing the implementation of the recent property reassessments, which have caused so much controversy.
A hearing on the issue was held this morning in court.
KDKA Investigator Andy Sheehan reports that the judge appears to be favorable to delaying the implementation of the new assessments for one year, and that means Pittsburgh Public Schools, the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County could use the old valuations while the new valuations are being appealed.
The judge who ordered the reassessment and who has been holding the county’s feet to the fire to implement it is considering a year’s delay.
Judge R. Stanton Wettick said he’s sympathetic to the Pittsburgh School district’s problem of trying to issue tax bills while the process is still in flux, and while so many people are appealing their new assessments.
Wettick told the district’s lawyers: “I do think you have a very legitimate problem. My goal isn’t to make life worse for the school board.”
Pittsburgh Public Schools’ lawyer, Paul Lally, said a year’s delay would make life easier.
“It’ll be a more accurate number for the school district next year then when we have to set that number now when we know… values will be adjusted downward through the appeals process,” said Lally.
However, attorneys for those who brought the suit demanding the reassessments say a delay would further burden over-assessed, poorer property owners.
“All of those folks who have been paying much more taxation than they should have cannot and should not wait for another year,” said attorney Don Driscoll.
The judge will hold another hearing and decide early next week on whether he will delay the reassessment.