Open your wallets for reassessment

Recently, the County Commissioners (all three) decided it was time for reassessment. They commissioned a study for $7,000 to back up their claim that reassessment would make everyone pay their “fair share.” They say it is a fairness issue, or is it just a money grab?

The cost of reassessment will be about $3.5 million. There are approximately 64,000 properties in Blair County. The Commissioners say that’s about $51 per property assessment. To anyone who has had a licensed real estate professional do an appraisal, it’s close to $500. What type of job will be done for the taxpayers of Blair County for $50?

The commissioners say one third of property taxes will go up, one third will go down, and one third will stay the same. It’s mandated that the total value of all properties must be the same after reassessment. Here’s the catch: after reassessment, the tax ceiling is reset and the commissioners can raise millage (taxes) as they like.

They are already talking of a major tax increase to cover their upcoming budget shortfalls.

Property owners pay taxes to their school district (highest), the county (second highest) and municipalities. Let it be known: Not one of the seven school districts in Blair County forced the county into reassessment. All seven districts are working diligently to stay within their budgets. They are all tightening their belts, and the county should do the same.

The commissioners cry poverty at the courthouse, and reassessment is the way to generate additional income. In government, it’s often easier to tax than it is to make hard, meaningful decisions. Reassessment is coming, prepare to open your wallets.

Ron Yoder