Commissioners, past and present, to blame
The property reassessment project was long overdue, and the current Blair County commissioners should not be held accountable for the inadequacies of their predecessors to start this process much earlier than they did.
Having not reassessed since 1958 is causing so much pain to those who are undoubtedly going to have issue with making their tax payments. They are going to be forced to make hard decisions that they never expected to have to make.
That burden is on previous commissioners, but unfortunately the current ones will surely take the brunt of the criticism as they are the public officials with whom taxpayers can directly interact.
I am in the minority third that actually had taxes reduced during this process.
I always felt that I was overpaying compared to others, but the monies that I paid I felt were adequate for the services that I received.
I moved from eastern Pennsylvania 27 years ago, and family members back home pay three and four times what I do in property taxes.
When this reassessment process started, I attended the meetings, and the overall theme was that the reassessment was to be revenue neutral.
Once the taxes were set, then in subsequent years, I fully expected taxes to rise because that is what governing bodies do when they need money.
But to mislead the public that this process was going to be revenue neutral, then before the reassessment was certified, already announce current commissioners are seeking an increase in taxes is purely on their shoulders, not their predecessors.
So not only are the other two-thirds seeing their taxes rise, but rise twice (once before and once after reassessment) due to the increase requested.
Should this increase be approved, I can promise you names of commissioners that will not be voted for the next time they are up for reelection on my ballot.
I really feel badly for the people who are now realizing that they are going to have to come up with another 10 percent as requested.
Shame on our county commissioners.