Thursday, March 17, 2005

Mad Capped Assessments

Perennial local government gadfly Robert Strauss has posted his Tuesday remarks to Allegheny County Council with regards to the 2006 property cap assessment.

While I don't always agree with Dr. Strauss (he's often prone to paranoia in violation of Rule #5), when it comes to the economic mechanics and legality of policy decisions, he's usually dead on. He may not make any political friends, but his warnings are to be taken seriously.

I'll paraphrase his objections to the cap:
(1) It's illegal.
(2) We tried this before, and it was illegal then too. Ici:

In ending the assessment freeze enacted by former county Commissioners Larry Dunn and Bob Cranmer in 1996, Wettick decreed that it was illegal for the commissioners to oversee the assessment department, as they had done for many years.

Wettick said that under the Second Class County Assessment law, which governs Allegheny County, the assessment board was responsible for maintaining, revising and equalizing the assessment system -- county government was not.

Weiss and Harlan Stone, the lawyer who brought the lawsuit resulting in Wettick's ruling, believe Roddey would need a change in that state law in order to enact his plan.
The Trib is speculating when the lawsuits will arrive.

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