Property Reassessments for Tax Bills Inspire Big Drama in Pennsylvania

Jul 29, 2014

Braddock Borough Council President Tina Doose.
Credit Irina Zhorov / 90.5 WESA

Property taxes are considered a relatively stable, easy-to-collect tax. In many states government officials conduct regular property reassessments, which help calculate accurate tax bills, without much to do. Not so in Pennsylvania, where reassessments can cause upheaval and dramatic political wrestling matches.

For example, in 2009, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court required Allegheny County to reassess all property. In 2012, as the new property values rolled out, local news reported that the newly elected chief executive for the county was "throwing out the new property reassessments."

Read the full version of this report at the website of Keystone Crossroads, a new statewide public media initiative reporting on the challenges facing Pennsylvania's cities.