Commonwealth Court rules in Washington County reassessment case

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Commonwealth Court Judge James Gardner Colins has ordered the Washington County reassessment case back to Common Pleas Court, quashing the county commissioners’ appeal.


Neither Susan Key, the attorney representing the Washington and McGuffey school districts, the parties seeking the reassessment, nor Blane Black, solicitor for the Washington County tax office, had seen an opinion accompanying the order as of mid-morning Wednesday.


County solicitors J. Lynn DeHaven and Mary Lyn Drewitz were meeting in closed session with the commissioners and they could not immediately be reached for comment.


Key said “quashing” means that the appellate court “disposed of the appeal without reaching the merits” of the case. “They never got to the commissioners’ motion to stay the reassessment.”


Her interpretation of the decision was that the commissioners had no right to appeal the opinion and order of Washington County President Judge Debbie O’Dell Seneca because the county entered into a stipulation in November 2008 to conduct a reassessment.


The sides are already scheduled to go before O’Dell Seneca next Tuesday in the reassessment case.


Read more in Thursday’s Observer-Reporter.


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