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.