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Washington County Reassessment Amicus Curiae Brief filed by State Rep. Jesse White

Washington County Reassessment Amicus Curiae Brief filed by State Rep. Jesse White

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Published by Jesse White
This is an amicus curiae brief filed with the Washington County Court of Common Pleas on September 27, 2011 in the Washington County Reassessment Case. The brief was written by State Representative Jesse White, 46th District, in order to try and prevent a forced property tax reassessment as a result of the lawsuit filed by McGuffey and Washington School Districts while the State Legislature is working to reform the current reassessment system.
This is an amicus curiae brief filed with the Washington County Court of Common Pleas on September 27, 2011 in the Washington County Reassessment Case. The brief was written by State Representative Jesse White, 46th District, in order to try and prevent a forced property tax reassessment as a result of the lawsuit filed by McGuffey and Washington School Districts while the State Legislature is working to reform the current reassessment system.

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Published by: Jesse White on Sep 27, 2011
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09/29/2011

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IN
 
THE
 
COURT
 
OF
 
COMMON
 
PLEAS
 
OF
 
WASHINGTON
 
COUNTY,
 
PENNSYLVANIA 
 
:
 
WASHINGTON
 
SCHOOL
 
:
 
CIVIL
 
DIVISION
 
DISTRICT
 
and
 
McGUFFEY 
 
:
 
SCHOOL
 
DISTRICT,
 
:
 
NO.:
 
2008-607
 
:
 
Plaintiffs,
 
:
 
TYPE
 
OF
 
PLEADING:
 
:
 
vs.
 
:
 
BRIEF
 
OF
 
 AMICUS
 
CURIAE
 
:
 
WASHINGTON
 
COUNTY 
 
and
 
:
 
LAWRENCE
 
O.
 
MAGGI,
 
:
 
J.
 
BRACKEN
 
BURNS,
 
SR.,
 
and
 
:
 
DIANA 
 
L.
 
IREY,
 
Washington
 
:
 
County 
 
Commissioners,
 
and
 
:
 
ROBERT
 
NEIL,
 
Chief
 
 Assessor
 
:
 
:
 
Defendants.
 
:
 
:
 
:
 
:
 
:
 
:
 
:
 
Filed
 
by:
 
:
 
Jesse
 
J.
 
White,
 
Esq.
 
:
 
State
 
Representative,
 
46
th
 
Legislative
 
:
 
District
 
of
 
Pennsylvania
 
:
 
:
 
PA 
 
I.D.
 
#91152
 
:
 
:
 
:
 
:
 
:
 
:
 
:
 
:
 
P.O.
 
Box
 
384
 
:
 
Cecil,
 
PA 
 
15321
 
:
 
724-743-4444
 
 
TABLE
 
OF
 
CONTENTS
 
Preliminary 
 
Statement………………………………………………………….
 
Page
 
1
 
Interest
 
of
 
the
 
 Amicus………………………………………………………….
 
Page
 
2
 
 Argument…………………………………………………………………………
 
Page
 
5
 
BASED
 
ON
 
THE
 
LEGISLATION
 
BOTH
 
PASSED
 
 AND
 
PENDING
 
IN
 
THE
 
PENNSYLVANIA 
 
LEGISLATURE,
 
WASHINGTON
 
COUNTY 
 
WOULD
 
BE
 
BEST
 
SERVED
 
IN
 
EVERY 
 
LEGITIMATE
 
WAY 
 
BY 
 
POSTPONING
 
 A 
 
REASSESSMENT
 
UNTIL
 
NO
 
LATER
 
THAN
 
DECEMBER
 
1,
 
2012.
 
 ALLOWING
 
 A 
 
FORCED
 
REASSESSMENT
 
UNDER
 
THE
 
CURRENT
 
FUNDAMENTALLY 
 
FLAWED
 
SYSTEM
 
WOULD
 
SERVE
 
NO
 
PURPOSE,
 
WOULD
 
HAVE
 
 A 
 
CRIPPLING
 
ECONOMIC
 
EFFECT
 
ON
 
WASHINGTON
 
COUNTY 
 
 AND
 
POSE
 
 A 
 
FAR
 
GREATER
 
RISK 
 
OF
 
 VIOLATING
 
THE
 
UNIFORMITY 
 
CLAUSE
 
OF
 
THE
 
PENNSYLVANIA 
 
CONSTITUTION.
 
Pending
 
and
 
Passed
 
Legislation
 
……….……………………………………
 
Page
 
12
 
HR
 
334
 
of
 
2009
 
 
 A 
 
Blueprint
 
for
 
Reassessment
 
Reform
 
……………….
 
Page
 
26
 
Conclusion
 
………………………………….……………………………………
 
Page
 
40
 
 Additional
 
 Attachments/Source
 
Documents:
 
 
HR
 
343
 
(2011)
 
 
HR
 
344
 
(2011)
 
 
HB
 
1462
 
(2011)
 
 
HB
 
1463
 
(2011)
 
 
HB
 
1465
 
(2011)
 
 
HB
 
1467
 
(2011)
 
 
HB
 
1468
 
(2011)
 
 
HB
 
1696
 
(2011)
 
 
“Pennsylvania’s
 
System
 
for
 
Property 
 
 Valuation
 
and
 
Reassessment”,
 
prepared
 
by 
 
the
 
Pennsylvania
 
Legislative
 
Budget
 
and
 
Finance
 
Committee
 
pursuant
 
to
 
HR
 
334
 
of
 
2009
 
 
1
PRELIMINARY 
 
STATEMENT
 
Jesse J. White, duly-elected State Representative for the 46
th
Legislative District ofPennsylvania, respectfully submits this brief as amicus curiae to urge the Court toorder a stay in the underlying action in regards to a reassessment of real estate inWashington County, Pennsylvania. This minimal and reasonable stay would allow thePennsylvania Legislature adequate time to continue and complete its work on thisissue and provide more comprehensive and cohesive guidelines for such areassessment.The result would be a comprehensive reassessment that ensures compliance with theUniformity Clause of the Pennsylvania Constitution while protecting the interests of thetaxpayers of Washington County. Failure to grant the stay and allow the forcedreassessment under the current, fundamentally flawed system would cause irreparablefinancial harm to taxpayers while simultaneously crippling business growth andeconomic development with no recognizable benefit to the public or the interests of justice.

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