McKeesport – July 5, 2012 – When the state Senate returns to session later this year it may have a second chance to pass legislation to stop the unfair property tax reassessments that have plagued property owners in Allegheny County, state Sen. Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny/Westmoreland) said today.

Stopping the property tax reassessments would have already been achieved had a bill passed the Senate late Saturday night with the moratorium language included.  The measure likely would now be on the governor’s desk had the Senate Republicans not acted to remove the prohibition, Brewster said. 

“I was extremely disappointed that language which would have imposed a moratorium to halt property tax reassessments in Allegheny County was removed at the last minute by Senate Republicans,” Brewster said.  “The Republican claim was that the moratorium was unconstitutional.

“The Republicans control the process.  The governor is a Republican and there are large Republican majorities in both the House and Senate.  If they want to halt property tax reassessments that have hurt Allegheny County residents they could move quickly.”

The moratorium was removed by Senate Republicans in Appropriations Committee action.  The bill was then passed by the Senate.  The moratorium was then restored by the House later in the evening when it passed a previous version of the bill.

“Taxpayers in Allegheny County have faced court-ordered property reassessment while some other counties haven’t reassessed in generations,” Brewster said.  “The reassessment is arbitrary and inequitable and has caused pain for homeowners.”

Brewster is planning to introduce legislation to prohibit reassessments and eliminate property taxes using a variation of the STOP plan. 

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