Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Onorato's property assessment plan isn't about stability at all -- not like assessment buffering

The change allows county officials to put off a future reassessment until they decide one is necessary.

Freeze! This is what got us in trouble in the past decades.
Onorato's property assessment plan prevails Allegheny County Council last night approved an assessment plan that won't change values for any of the county's 550,000 properties next year and, possibly, for years to come.

One dissenting Republican, Doug Price of Carnegie, predicted a quick legal challenge.
The best stability for homeowners would come with an assessment buffering plan that has been part of my platform. I still think assessment buffering would save the day for families in Allegheny County.

"The base year plan will provide stability for homeowners by preventing wild swings in property assessments and taxes. It will also put Allegheny County on equal footing with neighboring counties and make this a viable place to own a home or business."

Stability for homeowners comes with assessment buffering. Get a tax bill and then have it buffered over a three year period.

Rea said, "They just don't like the uncertainty of their tax bill changing every year," she said. "Many people in my area have moved to Butler County." Jeepers. The concept of assessment buffering never had better words of support. The concept of calming the uncertainty of tax bills is what assessment buffering provides. Sadly, Rea isn't seeing the big picture.

Think again Onorato -- as I don't think we in Allegheny County should be put on equal footing with Butler and Beaver and other counties. How low have we gone in Allegheny County that we call it a victory to be even with them? I think we need to soar -- and Dan wants us to be equal. We should be better. We should be much better.

This plan is still not the elegant solution that I desire. Plain old survival is killing us.

I'm being ignored again, but I'm in good company as illustrated in the article. Councilman Ron Francis, R-Ben Avon, said, "Whenever a professional tells us something that's not what we want to hear, we ignore the results," he said. "Because we don't have the political will to carry through and try to get the assessments correct."

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