Scott Township wants to know about assessment drop

Published Sep 27, 2013 at 12:08 pm (Updated Sep 27, 2013 at 12:08 pm)

At least one Scott Township commissioner wants to be informed about stipulations changing a property assessment, especially assessments that change dramatically.

At the board’s Sept. 24 voting meeting, commissioner Bill Wells said that elected officials need to be aware of when there is a large stipulation changing a property’s assessed value. Commissioner Craig Stephens stated that the board needed to be informed of those types of changes.

Wells said, “We owe it to the public to know what’s going on.”

Contacted after the meeting, Wells said his comments were prompted by recent changes in the assessed value of Chartiers Terrace, a housing cooperative with 200 residences located on 16 acres at Greentree and Lindsay roads. During the last county reassessment, the property’s assessed value rose from $1.5 to $7.7 million, but a settlement between the housing association, Scott Township and the Chartiers Valley School District lowered the assessment to $1.795 million.

Wells estimated that residents of Chartiers Terrace pay $40 per year in real estate taxes to the township, while the average single-family homeowner in Scott pays $550 for services like police, fire protection, garbage collection and road maintenance.

“It doesn’t make good business sense for Scott Township,” said Wells.

Wells was bothered because he said not all board members knew the terms of the settlement. He had proposed that a policy be set where the board of commissioners is made aware of any stipulations changing any assessment by more than 25 or 50 percent. After discussion, it was decided that the board would be notified of stipulated changes of $1 million or more.

At the same meeting, the board set dates for its 2014 budget meetings. Oct. 16 is scheduled as a revenue meeting, Oct. 29 and Nov. 11 are departments/expenditures, and Nov. 21 is the markdown meeting. All meetings are scheduled for 7 p.m. at the municipal building.

In other business, the board:

Ratified the purchase of a replacement server in the administrative office from DEP Technologies, Inc. in the amount of $3,631.78.

Designated 6-8 p.m. Oct 31 as the official “Trick or Treat” night in Scott Township.

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