Beaver County has joined a growing list.
A Commonwealth Court ruling has denied Beaver County’s appeal of a Nov. 2017 decision by Common Pleas Judge John McBride that ordered the county to begin a property reassessment project.
The county has 30 days to decide whether to appeal the Commonwealth Court decision to the state Supreme Court, or begin preparations for Beaver County’s first property reassessment since 1982.
McBride’s ruling ordered the county to conduct the county-wide reassessment program in 2020. That timeline has been put on hold during the appeal process.
The defeat in Commonwealth Court mirrors the same path tried by Allegheny, Washington and Indiana counties. All three have since conducted county-wide residential and commercial property reassessments.
Beaver County Deliberates
“We are upset with the decision that was made, but I firmly believe that this board has the best interests of the residents of Beaver County in mind,” Beaver County commissioners chairman Daniel Camp told the Beaver County Times. “We will be meeting with our law department in the coming weeks to decide whether to appeal to the state Supreme Court or to move forward with this opinion.”
Beaver County real estate developer Charles Betters filed a suit in 2014 to compel a property reassessment, and McBride ruled in Betters’ favor three years later. The judge noted in his decision that the 1982 tax base year used by the county, “does not reflect, uniformly and accurately, the proper assessed values of the 96,000 parcels in Beaver County.”
Common Pleas Court Judge Dale Fouse would later deny a motion by the county for post-trial relief.
County attorneys argued in the Commonwealth Court appeal that the order should be overturned because the experts who compiled the market value data presented did not testify during the Nov. 2017 trial. The Commonwealth Court panel did not agree.