Thursday, February 17, 2005

Assessment cap plan seen as 'regressive,' 'pandering'

Assessment cap plan seen as 'regressive,' 'pandering'State and former county officials yesterday sharply criticized county Chief Executive Dan Onorato's proposal to cap Allegheny County's 2006 property assessment increases at 4 percent, calling it 'regressive' and 'pandering.'

Onorato wants to cap increases at 4 percent.

I have many opinions on this matter. But, one of the worst things that have been done is that the people are being left in the dark, again. The reason to put out an order to NOT mail the new tax statements that show the homeowners new assessed value is to prevent outrage. Confusion stinks. But, worse, is in-action and a dense, dark fog.

At the last minute, Dan Onorato choose to go with the FUD option. FUD is Feat, uncertainty, doubt.

If I'm in charge, we would have done this in a different way. I would have released the new assessments on the web. We'd use technology. Don't pay the printers and postmaster and have to re-send these bills. The bills are going to be in dispute. But if we knew what the county executive knew as he knew it, we'd be able to see what's what.

Upload some new tables. Put some new fields on the county database. Release the insights now. Then lets all ponder what to do next.

I don't want to hear that the average home incrase is 22% in some area and another percentage -- on average -- elsewhere. Give the numbers on the web and then we'll all see for ourselves.

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