Uncle Irvin: Your property taxes may be subject to change!
By Richard Gaw
Recently, a Delaware County Common Pleas Judge ordered Delaware County to reassess all 200,000 buildings in the county.
The judge's order came from a lawsuit that stated that Delaware County has not reassessed properties in more than a generation, so they are now not uniform. Chester, Montgomery, and Bucks counties have similar records of no regular reassessments of all real estate in more than a generation.
Uncle Irvin was around when Chester County was last reassessed, more than 20 years ago, as a result of then-Common Pleas Judge Larry Wood's judicial order. Uncle Irvin was involved in Chester County GOP politics at the time of the last reassessment. The event threw County Commissioners and GOP political leaders into chaos for years until the reassessment was completed, along with thousands of appeals by almost everyone who had their taxes raised.
The Delaware County reassessment is sure to cause a domino effect, and Chester County taxpayers will be sitting on a bed of needles.
The rule of thumb in reassessments is one-third get raised, one-third get lowered, and one-third stay the same. Of great interest is the one-third that gets raised. Those whose homes are likely to be reassessed higher are the wealthiest and most politically influential, and they will not sit still while county GOP employees and elected officials jack up their taxes.
The fact is that none of the GOP-dominated counties outside Philadelphia conduct regular reassessments that even the playing field. Since Chester County has always been governed by a GOP majority of County Commissioners, this event is solely because of lack of GOP foresight and the party and its leaders should be hung out to dry.
(Uncle Irvin's column is his opinion only, and is not a news story.)