Effort to Modernize Property Reassessment Process Waiting for Corbett’s Signature

Mar 22, 2013

A bill that would be the first step in standardizing property reassessments in Pennsylvania passed with unanimous support in both chambers and now awaits Gov. Tom Corbett’s signature.

“This is a step that really modernizes the way data is collected — the way contracts are given out, the way the state interacts with counties when the county decides that it is time to reassess,” said Rep. Brandon Neuman (D-North Strabane)

This bill was modeled after bills authored by several lawmakers, including Neuman. He said Senate Bill 66 was partially in response to Allegheny County’s messy property reassessment process.

“Now, in Washington County we’re facing a reassessment," he said, "and it’s something that we want to make sure that if it is done, it is done properly so that tax payers aren’t taken advantage of in the end.”

Currently, the processes for reassessment are different county to county, which lawmakers said leads to property tax increases for home and business owners.

Senate Bill 66 would, among other things, develop an operations manual for counties to use when reassessing property values, develop a statewide database of property values and develop standards for the contracting of assessment services.

Neuman said it’s a first step in ensuring a uniform reassessment process statewide, and he said it will help efforts in counties that are starting reassessment in the near future.

“This will give them a lot of guidance to what needs to be done when it comes to contracting and collection of data when they start the reassessment in Washington County.”

Corbett has given no indication of whether he’ll sign the bill, but with unanimous passage, lawmakers are optimistic he will.