The problem is abundantly clear to Mr. O'Neal and his neighbors in Bedford County, where, until this year, property had not been reassessed since 1957.
"Our [reassessment] is most likely going to force a lot of folks to sell their land because they just can't pay the taxes on it," said Mr. O'Neal, whose farm is about two miles south of Clearville. He will see his annual tax bill double on the 517 acres he owns -- from about $7,500 to $16,000 -- as a result of the new reassessment. (P-G, Karamagi Rujumba)
Alright, fine. A very sticky wicket. But of course:
In the Allegheny County case, the court ruled that not setting a timetable for regular reassessments is unfair because changing values allow owners of properties in declining areas to pay too much and those in growing areas to pay too little. (ibid)
I would just like to hear an acknowledgement from somebody who is not a judge or a journalist. "It is unfair, the way it works now". It is one thing to call for a statewide solution while grumbling about a mean old judge, it is another thing to do so while acknowledging what I think is an indisputable moral justification for change. As it stands, unless I've missed something, it's legitimate to wonder whether any given politician recognizes or cares about straightforward unfairness. That is one thing I look for in politicians, particularly in Democratic primaries. The Democratic party supposedly prides itself on just this exact thing.
Among [the Bedford Taxpayers Association's] stated objectives are to either get the results of the recent reassessment thrown out or the members of the board of commissioners that implemented it kicked out of office. (ibid)
Yes, yes. Very scary, very real. Groups like this will probably ensure that any statewide solution is partial, incremental and itself of dubious constitutionality -- as will Comet Senior Political Analyst Morton Reichbaum, who does not trust that the government will assess his property fairly given an opportunity to do so, and does not believe it will reduce the millage like its supposed to to achieve revenue-neutrality.
Still. An acknowledgement. It might even educate a few voters, making the inevitable medicine go down easier. I'm not actually sure run-of-the-mill property owners are aware of the connection. And I'm certainly not convinced that a statewide solution is being sought / pursued so much as it is being quote-unquote "called for".
Ed Rendell hires Vincent Fumo's press secretary [Cough, guffaw]. [Coughaw?] (P-G, Tom Barnes)
Say what you want about it, Dok Harris has staked out an identifiable Positive Vision For The City. This has supposedly been a stumbling-block of challengers past. The only problem is, it's so early everybody's going to copy it. "Oh, yeah. That was me. Totally." (P-G, Rich Lord;Trib, Adam Brandolph)
Meanwhile, our anonymous blowhard friend (one amongst many) is attaching a few more partisan harpoons into Kevin Acklin's hide. (Infinonymous)
I'm no security maven, and for all I know this sort of thing is actually getting taken care of, but:
"People do have the right to free speech, and if they are not going to provide us with the proper avenues to express that right, I am a little afraid for what might happen," she said. (P-G, Kaitlynn Reily; see also Trib, Matthew Santoni)
Me too. Srsly.