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Reassessment process champions unfairness

I read with interest the half-page advertisement that appeared in the Nov. 3 issue of the Mirror entitled “County Commissioners betray the public” submitted by Blair County Citizens for Accurate Reassessment.

Having been involved in the reassessment process, I can verify the facts as stated are accurate.

I attended several public meetings and talked to representatives from Evaluator Services Technology, the firm coordinating the reassessment process. I found their answers unclear and evasive.

I repeatedly asked for criteria by which land and property were evaluated for taxation and was told it was available.

When I asked for a copy, I was redirected to the courthouse, which did not have it. Finally, I was told there was no such criteria.

Land values were simply assigned, and it was up to the landowner to prove the assessment incorrect.

If this is the “fair” assessment the commissioners promised at the start of the process, we can assume they have a twisted definition of the word “fair.”

In the advertisement, Commissioner Bruce Erb is quoted as saying, “85 percent of the land owners have not appealed their assessment indicating they are satisfied, leaving only 15 percent unsatisfied.”

A wake-up call for Commissioner Erb: If one-third of the taxes stayed the same and one-third went down, those people will not protest because they are not seeing an increase.

Even if they think the evaluation is unfair, they fear their taxes will increase if they speak up.

I have been told that numerous times by those satisfied citizens. That means the 11,000 protestors come from one-third of the parcel holders, which is actually 50 percent of those effected who are unsatisfied with the process.

Another perfect example of political bad math and double-talk.

John Kasun, Duncansville

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