High assessments must also be appealed

Wednesday’s Altoona Mirror covered my recent presentation emphasizing the ongoing need for assessment appeals as a means for promoting fairness and equity in the real estate tax burden of Blair County landowners.

It covered very well my proposal for the ongoing review of under-assessed properties by school districts and municipalities.

Unfortunately, an important component of the presentation was not included in the coverage. The article did not mention my call for and the necessity of an aggressive appeal effort by landowners whose properties are assessed too high so that each landowner pays only their fair share in taxes. My exact words were the following:

“Further, it should not be forgotten that equity and consistency in assessed values of Blair County’s properties also requires an active and ongoing effort by our landowners whose properties are over-assessed. They must also take advantage of the opportunity to appeal their assessed values whenever their properties are over-assessed.

“The interplay of the active and regular appeal of both inaccurately high and low assessed values will further the Pennsylvania law requirement of fair and equitable allocation of tax burdens based upon accurate values and reduce the cost of our next reassessment and perhaps postpone the need for same. These are goals that we can all agree upon.”

Terry Tomassetti

Blair County