I have been fortunate to call Peters Township home for 34 years. My background is that of being a Real Estate Broker for nine years, and working in the fields of New Construction and Residential Real Estate Development in Peters Township for fifteen years.
What caught me off guard this week, was a PT Council Meeting that I attended this past Monday, November 26, 2012.
As many of you have probably read or seen on television, Allegheny County has been dealing with a court ordered property tax reassessment for a few years now. It is a huge project, very complicated, and tremendously time consuming.
Washington County is currently under a court order to hire a firm to help with a reassessment that has not occurred since 1981! That is right, 1981 (that is not a typo) - 31 years have passed since our county has had a reassessment of all the properities (vacant ground, residential homes, commercial/industrial properties, etc.)
There are over a 100+ property tax appeals that are currently in progress on parcels of land in Peters Township alone (and we are only one municipality in a very large county). This needs to stop - As much as no property owner wants their property taxes to increase - there is one law that must stay the same - 'The Uniformity Clause'. This clause states that all properties located in Pennsylvania must be assessed in a manner that is fair, balanced and equal. The current assessed values (at least in Peters Township) are far from fair and balanced.
An example of this follows (this is for illustration purposes only based upon my personal experience listing and selling homes in Peters Township): An approximately 3,200 sq. ft. home (four bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 3 car garage) located on a half acre lot might be assessed with a total yearly tax due of approximately $9,000-$10,000/per year, but the same home built 15-20 years ago might be $5,000-$6,000/per year - this is a MAJOR difference and needs to be rectified sooner rather than later.
It is my personal opinion that each and every property owner in Washington County needs to get involved and become educated as much as possible to understand the reasons and the necessity for a countywide property reassessment. A lot of dollars are at stake, a lot of emotions run high on this issue, but an informed taxpayer is a necessity in this situation that we all will be dealing with in the next few months, and most likely years ahead.