Washington County reassessment case has date with appeals court

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The fate of property reassessment in Washington County could be decided this year.


Arguments before a Commonwealth Court panel in Pittsburgh have been scheduled for Nov. 13, in a case that was brought in 2008 by the Washington and McGuffey school districts to force a reassessment.


The appellate court will have to decide if the commissioners four years ago agreed to reassess property countywide.


The county has not signed a contract with a reassessment firm for a task that is estimated to cost as much as $8 million, but the commissioners maintain they have taken steps toward the effort, such as purchasing aerial images of the county and readying the former juvenile home in Arden as office space.


In May, President Judge Debbie O’Dell Seneca said the commissioners are stalling.


“This appeal is simply a last-ditch effort by the (commissioners) to get out of an agreement they hoped they would not have to perform,” O’Dell Seneca wrote in a legal opinion.


Representing the school districts is attorney Susan Mondik Key. Special counsel for the county in this case is Pittsburgh attorney Robert Grimm.


Washington County’s last property reassessment took effect in 1981.


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