State lawmakers unhappy with muni property tax reassessment methods

    A group of Pennsylvania lawmakers say they’re not giving up on a package of bills Governor Rendell vetoed twice last legislative session.

    A group of Pennsylvania lawmakers say they’re not giving up on a package of bills Governor Rendell vetoed twice last legislative session.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090601sdspot.mp3]

    Two separate times, lawmakers sent Governor Rendell a bill last session that would ban school districts and municipalities from reassessing the property tax value of recently sold homes.

    And both times, Rendell struck the measures down.

    Schuylkill and Berks County Democrat Tim Seip says hiking property taxes on some homeowners, but not others, is fundamentally wrong, referencing a clump of identical homes in his district.

    Seip: They’re in a development that was built at the same time, by the same builder, with identical floor plans on identical lot sizes. But those who bought the homes prior to 1996 will pay one rate, and someone who moves in today will pay the 2009 rate for the same exact property.

    Seip’s new package is identical to a bill that passed the House with 140 votes and cleared the Senate with 38.

    Rendell’s spokesman, Chuck Ardo, says the Governor would veto it again.

    He says Rendell is concerned the legislation would remove significant powers municipalities have to challenge county property assessments they think are too low.

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