BEDFORD - County commissioners are taking the reassessment process into their own hands, spending the next week or so researching and studying options for the controversial project and possibly coming up with a new target year for fair market values in the county.
The county's first reassessment since 1957, including door-to-door data collecting of the more than 35,000 properties, is nearing the end of its 18-month contract with Tyler Technologies' CLT Appraisal Services. In the past month, commissioners' weekly meetings have become a platform for residents to voice their concerns to the county's leaders.
About 40 people attended Tuesday's meeting, during which Commissioner Gary Ebersole made a motion that the county set 1990 as the target year for comparisons for fair market values. Ebersole said he researched more than 20 counties in and out of the state, comparing their economic development and the year of their most recent reassessment.
In 1990, both Adams and Fulton counties underwent reassessment, said Ebersole, who noted Adams County is similar in size and population to Bedford.
The difference between 1990 and 2008 - where market values are being set currently - is dramatic, Ebersole said, calling Adams County "the center of where we should go with reassessment."
Ebersole told his fellow commissioners, Chairman Michael Herline and Steve Howsare, of his research at Tuesday's meeting.
Neither would approve the motion without further research themselves.
"I'm not going to vote for something I just heard about this morning," Howsare said. "I still feel we're going to wind up with the same sort of spread."
"I appreciate the commissioner's research on issues," Herline said. "I won't be seconding until I'm finished with my research."
Ebersole immediately made a second motion, proposing that the assessment office not send out any more reassessment information to property owners until the commissioners decide upon a year to assign for market values.
All three commissioners agreed.
"I'm totally OK with waiting until we make a determination," Howsare said.
Commissioners told those in attendance that the pause in the process would not affect the ongoing appeal process and that a decision should be made by next week.
Mirror Staff Writer Wendy McCardle is at 946-7520.