Last year – Controller Chelsa Wagner kept issuing the same warning –

Allegheny County had set its millage rate too high.

She insisted there would be a big property tax windfall –

Because court-ordered reassessments had raised property values.

County Executive Rich Fitzgerald disagreed –

Saying values would drop as reassessment appeals were decided.

Wagner continued to voice concerns –

But kept changing the size of the millage cut she said was needed.

As 2013 progressed – Wagner stopped talking about a windfall.

Now the numbers show property values actually dropped nearly 5 percent last year.

So – no windfall.

And no announcement by the Controller – saying the millage rate was just fine.

While it’s good that the county didn’t overcharge taxpayers –

You wonder –

Were Controller Chelsa Wagner’s dire warnings politically motivated?

Or the just the result of bad math?

Neither one sounds good for Allegheny County’s fiscal watchdog.

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