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Monroe reassessment will have devastating effects

Published April 11. 2019 12:55PM

Dear Editor,

A crisis of monumental proportions is about to unfold throughout Monroe County. This crisis will be entirely man-made — in fact, it will be brought at the hands of just two elected officials. It should never have happened, and it will have life-changing, devastating consequences for thousands of ordinary citizens with newly affixed targets on their backs. The now-infamous Monroe County Property Reassessment Project, initiated and hyped by two sitting county commissioners, is nearing completion. The out-of-state firm they hired to conduct the reassessment has mailed property owners its conclusions, and every homeowner should now be aware of what the government believes their property is worth. This is just the beginning; it’s going to get much, much worse for many retired seniors. The newly assessed property values may be jaw-dropping to thousands of retired seniors, who for years paid property taxes under provisions of the 1989 assessment. But the crushing blow will come when these seniors discover their future property taxes — including their school property taxes — have doubled or even tripled based on the new assessment. How many retirees, living on fixed incomes, can afford a 100 percent increase in property taxes?

Thousands of people in Monroe County today are living in houses old enough to have been included in the 1989 assessment. Many — if not most — of these people have been in their homes for decades and are now old enough themselves to be past their working years. These thousands, the same ones who’ve dutifully paid their property tax bills for all these years, now stand accused by the commissioners of gaming the system and failing to “pay their fair share.” This was their sole justification for the reassessment to begin with. Does anyone think for a minute that these commissioners will hesitate to put seniors out on the street?

L. Ernie Foucault


Senior citizens, statistically the wealthiest and least taxed age group in the state, are the ones we are most worried about? I realize there are some that failed to save for retirement but senior citizens should not be the focal point of concern when property taxes rise. 1 in 5 children in this state are born into poverty...the real concern is young families.
Bickering among the peasants! Perfect! People bicker when farmers have their land tax reduced (preservation and such). People bicker at the thought of tenants not having to pay property taxes.
Let's all unite at getting rid of private property taxes. Those taxes should never have gone to where they are today.
The governing elites enjoy the peasants bickering. Wake up you stupid people!
Thanks to the letter writer for informing the neighbors.
The writer of this letter and Mike are absolutely correct as to the issue, unfortunately the MORONS in Harrisburg can get this done! When the majority of tax paying home owners have been screaming for this for years the idiots still can't fix the problem. ELIMINATE PROPERTY TAXES FOREVER!!!!!!! Joe ….. this is for you If you can't feed them don't breed them.
The people voted and spectacularly rejected property tax elimination in November. Anybody that supports a scheme that transfers tax burden to income and sales tax needs a basic economics class.

Are you suggesting that we should allow children to be malnourished in this country because the parents couldn’t afford them? That’s pretty effed up.
The last vote in the PA senate was a deadlock with Lt. Gov Mike Stack casting a deciding vote against hardly an over whelming loss ??? And yes this burden should be spread out fairly instead of being solely on the shoulders of the homeowners. I am saying that if you cannot afford children you should not have them until you can.
Scott Wagner made SB76 the centerpiece of his election campaign for Governor and was defeated by historical numbers. The people spoke.

The vote you speak of was symbolic at best. HB76 had no chance of passing the PA house and governor would have vetoed. The bill got votes by many who voted on it to say they voted for eliminating property taxes...had it had a chance of actually passing many more would have voted nay. Its just like Obamacare...when the repeal had no chance of passing every Republican voted to repeal. When they got control of congress and the executive branch suddenly most republicans didn't want to repeal anymore.

Real estate tax is paid by everyone, renters and owners alike. Renters cover the tax through their rent payments so that is a poor argument.

Of course it would be better if everyone could afford their children but it appears you would like to tax the poor heavier. This will lead to higher poverty for these children who did nothing wrong. Nice.
Again that side uses that argument that everyone pays property taxes which directly and indirectly is true BUT it is the home owner that gets the shaft as he/she are the only ones who could lose there home for non payment so this is completely unfair!! So let me use this example this weekend I decide I want to by a brand new Bugati Chiron nice but I could not hope to afford it so I buy it anyway and ask everyone in our taxing area to chip in..... not fair right but you are being taxed and could lose your home if YOU do not pay. I think you would have a different opinion then.

I do have a compromise you buy a house for the next say 25 years you pay property taxes at the end of that time as long as you are in that house you do not pay anymore property taxes. This house stays that way until a new person buys the home.
Oh really? SO if a renter decides not to pay their rent they won't lose their home?

Your proposal is a really bad idea. Those who have owned homes that long are likely in much better financial position than those just starting off. Your proposal will spike taxes on young families and since the aged population is projected to go up while younger adults is going down in numbers, all you are doing is narrowing the tax base. The way it is now everyone pays. The way you propose not everyone pays. That's not fair.
Yes, as renters have no vested interest in the area or home if they get thrown out they will find another rental . If a person is buying a home they have vested interest in the area as they are building equity in there home so they have way more to lose. The homeowner will care more about there surrounds as it affects there property value Example if I pay 10K in property taxes I am paying that to the district for say my two kids but if a landlord is paying 10k and has 10 units and each unit has two kids then that money is supposed to support 20 kids? And when it doesn't who feels the biggest impact? Not the landlord …. the homeowner.

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