Adams settles nearly a quarter of app...

Adams settles nearly a quarter of appeals

There are 97 comments on the Evening Sun story from Jan 3, 2011, titled Adams settles nearly a quarter of appeals. In it, Evening Sun reports that:

Nearly a quarter of the appeals of reassessed property values in Adams County that have gone to the court of common pleas have been settled so far without a trial.

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We The People Cumberland

United States

#81 Jan 6, 2011
Mr. Barr,
As Cumberland County residents let us thank you for being the company that has caused a citizen's awakening to what's been obviously wrong to so many for so long. You and your family are "paragons" of living off of the citizens tax collections in as parasitic a way that would be the envy of any intestinal tapeworm. Given the root cause is a corrupt, bloated legislature that has been unable to reform anything let alone itself you have certainly used these past several decades to find the best way of milking a cash cow for a living with contracts to the counties suckered into your alleged "professional" art form of appraisals.
Although unfortunate that we have property taxes as an inefficient, expensive and totally subjective means to fund our schools and governments, you sir, have managed to reveal the unseemliness of taxing peoples homes with as an archaic a system as can be found.
The Barr family have become cartoons for hucksterism and snake oil by promoting this myth and have now gotten commissioners and legislators running for cover. I don't know what influence the Barrs retain in Harrisburg and I'm sure papa Barr's (National Holstein Boy) buying out Porterfield was an attempt to continue access in the swamp of Harrisburg in order to sell your mischief.
There are now at least 50 organizations in over 40 counties (not surprisingly many serviced by your company of grifters) who are now clamoring for reform.
The obvious solution is to do away with property assessment and shift it to empirically sound AND FAIR system of sales tax, internet sales tax, income, casino, realty transfer and shale gas taxation. Can PA actually see a progressive, easily definable system that doesn't need you, tax assessors and the related expense to feed your porcine behavior at tax payer expense? Yes, it can. Especially now that more counties have seen the rock pulled over and the likes of 21st Century underneath.
We know that status quo causes inertia in most bureaucratic systems. I can't stress too strongly though that what 21st Century has managed to achieve in angering the people is something to behold.
How long it will take to dispose of the likes of you is anyone's guess. I wouldn't be looking for a new contract in Cumberland County because the commissioners have gotten the message. One voted against you, one is quaking in her britches come the primary and the 3rd isn't sure he wants to run again because of the blowback.
It is obvious that the Barr family have made a living by causing far too many elders to worry about whether they can remain in their homes because of the madness and stupidity (not to mention immoral) process of elevating everyone's older home to some hypothetical arms distance value. In 10 years I've seen too many elderly and sick worry that the next time someone shows up on their paid off property it will be one of your temps with a tape measure and a clipboard thus signaling another round of fleecing. Inexcusable!
Typical to most things that the Pennsylvania legislature has let rot is the very business in which you dwell. We expect no admittance of shame from your family. You all may think it right to dodge income and property taxes with non-profit race horses and bad dinner theater. It sure is creative accounting of sleaze artists which we have to just admire for the purity and chutzpah (Yiddish for sociopath) of it all.
Your industry of assessors, appraisers and pseudo mathematicians is on its way out and we hope to hasten the process.
Enjoy your proceeds from our hard earned tax money. Like the leech that sucks off blood from its host it will be pure pleasure when we move to stem your parasitic behavior and finally replace you with a truly fair system of taxation that no longer requires quacks to read entrails.
People deserve to own their homes in peace and not to contribute to a never ending piggy bank for politicians, tax collectors and rodeo clowns like the Barrs.
Good riddance to you sir.
Recent Retiree

East Berlin, PA

#82 Jan 7, 2011
JustMyHonestOpinion wrote:
<quoted text>
I may be wrong but I don't think 21st Century was working "directly" for the property owners. They were hired by the 3 county commissioners(as "elected representatives" of all county citizens) and it is only the commissioners that have a duty to supervise the work done by 21st Century. 21st Century can't possibly operate with thousands of county citizens, each with their own agenda, as their supervisors. I realize that there are many, and various, problems with the reassessed values, but it is the commissioners responsibility to make the attempt to correct them as they see fit within the rules and regulations concerning a reassessment process.
Bottom line folks, you're grievance is, or should be, with the 3 County Commissioners, not directly with 21st Century!
According to today's Gettysburg Times, George Weikert is quoted as saying the following about problems with the recent reassessment: "We do have some answers (to) issues brought up we weren’t aware of,” Weikert added. For instance, some properties currently enrolled in Clean and Green may no longer be eligible. Weikert said mail-out questionnaires and visits by certified appraisers already on the county’s staff would ensure C&G properties remain eligible tax break."

I don't think these "answers" would have surfaced without citizens raising the Commissioners' awareness - Moose and Alexandra answered a personal "call to duty" to expose the lack of uniformity in 21st Century's work - without such individual citizen's initiatives these failings would not have been shared with the public and then receive the attention needed by the Commissioners to "make right.”

For too long we have trusted our elected officials to act in our best interests - we have moved past this to "trust but verify" - but sadly because of the weak performance of the Adams County Commissioners I think the prevailing view now is to "distrust and show me"!
Big Dog

Armada, MI

#83 Jan 7, 2011
JustMyHonestOpinion wrote:
<quoted text>
I may be wrong but I don't think 21st Century was working "directly" for the property owners. They were hired by the 3 county commissioners(as "elected representatives" of all county citizens) and it is only the commissioners that have a duty to supervise the work done by 21st Century. 21st Century can't possibly operate with thousands of county citizens, each with their own agenda, as their supervisors. I realize that there are many, and various, problems with the reassessed values, but it is the commissioners responsibility to make the attempt to correct them as they see fit within the rules and regulations concerning a reassessment process.
Bottom line folks, you're grievance is, or should be, with the 3 County Commissioners, not directly with 21st Century!
My father always told me that "you work for the man that pays your salary." How can you grieve to the County Commissioners when you can't get facts and answers from the people that complied the data that your results are built on? While 21st may not have been directly hired by you and me it is our property they are evaluating, not the County Commissioners and it is our tax rates that will eventually be affected. There have been so many red flags raised in this issue that the Commissioners should take another look at the results. This is a case of "you can't see the forest for the trees."
Moose

Gettysburg, PA

#84 Jan 7, 2011
Recent Retiree wrote:
<quoted text>
According to today's Gettysburg Times, George Weikert is quoted as saying the following about problems with the recent reassessment: "We do have some answers (to) issues brought up we weren’t aware of,” Weikert added. For instance, some properties currently enrolled in Clean and Green may no longer be eligible. Weikert said mail-out questionnaires and visits by certified appraisers already on the county’s staff would ensure C&G properties remain eligible tax break."
I don't think these "answers" would have surfaced without citizens raising the Commissioners' awareness - Moose and Alexandra answered a personal "call to duty" to expose the lack of uniformity in 21st Century's work - without such individual citizen's initiatives these failings would not have been shared with the public and then receive the attention needed by the Commissioners to "make right.”
For too long we have trusted our elected officials to act in our best interests - we have moved past this to "trust but verify" - but sadly because of the weak performance of the Adams County Commissioners I think the prevailing view now is to "distrust and show me"!
The County Assessor has called me to set up an appointment to go over the bevy (9mb) of questions I had submitted. Unfortunately we have been unable to find a suitable time for both parties. The questions I submitted were both general questions and parcel specific. It took them a month to compile the answers and I can hardly wait to sit down with them. George and Lisa should have a vested interest in answering them if they would like to retain any support for their reelection campaigns. I look forward to meeting with them as soon as we can arrange it. Will keep you posted.
ron

Fannettsburg, PA

#85 Jan 7, 2011
well mr weikert is looking into clean and green propertys the only way we will know if he follows through is to have the results in the gettysburg times like you say show me
Hanoverian

Rockville, MD

#86 Jan 7, 2011
Moose wrote:
The County Assessor has called me to set up an appointment to go over the bevy (9mb) of questions I had submitted. Unfortunately we have been unable to find a suitable time for both parties. The questions I submitted were both general questions and parcel specific. It took them a month to compile the answers and I can hardly wait to sit down with them. George and Lisa should have a vested interest in answering them if they would like to retain any support for their reelection campaigns. I look forward to meeting with them as soon as we can arrange it. Will keep you posted.
If by "County Assessor" you mean Barb Walter then good luck with that. She is just as clueless (and stubborn) as the commissioners. Be prepared to get the same canned response from her as you did from the three stooges ...
Michelle- Luzerne County

Dallas, PA

#87 Jan 7, 2011
Again I urge the citizens of Adams County to file a complaint form with the PA Dept. of State, Bureau of Occupational & Professional Licensing against Mr. Barr if you have a legitimate and gross error in your reassessment! In my county, wrong homes appeared on reassessments, values were WAY off, the same garage appeared on 3 different neighbors' assessments with a different value applied each time. I could go on and on. Many of us filed a complaint form, we were interviewed by an investigator and a year ago were told the case was in the hands of a prosecuting attorney who was having all the collected evidence reviewed by an expert. You can get the complaint forms on -line.
DO IT! It's eas to complete the form. The more the merrier. This company MUST be held accountable.
Recent Retiree

East Berlin, PA

#88 Jan 7, 2011
Michelle- Luzerne County wrote:
Again I urge the citizens of Adams County to file a complaint form with the PA Dept. of State, Bureau of Occupational & Professional Licensing against Mr. Barr if you have a legitimate and gross error in your reassessment! In my county, wrong homes appeared on reassessments, values were WAY off, the same garage appeared on 3 different neighbors' assessments with a different value applied each time. I could go on and on. Many of us filed a complaint form, we were interviewed by an investigator and a year ago were told the case was in the hands of a prosecuting attorney who was having all the collected evidence reviewed by an expert. You can get the complaint forms on -line.
DO IT! It's easy to complete the form. The more the merrier. This company MUST be held accountable.
I was waiting until I received the results of today's court hearing before taking futher action on my own - but if you are ready to file a complaint now here's the link I used to research the process:

http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.p...
paul kellett

Carlisle, PA

#89 Jan 8, 2011
The Judge yesterday boiled the whole case down to "Did the County and 21st Century abide by Judge Kuhn's order in that is the COD less than 15%. Although the County violated every State law on how reassessments should be done, this outcome is okay with me. Not because I feel that it is okay to violate every law but because I know that the COD, the true COD not some doctored Tim Barr creation is well in excess of 15% The County knows this as well. Why else would they refuse the settlement offer made by Freedom Township that says that we take every property that was sold by a Realtor from July1,2010 to Dec.31, 2010, our base year and compare those sold prices to the assessed values sent out on July 1, 2010? The data would be provided by the Realtors Association of York and Adams County, and the math done by Daryl Krum of the County Assessors office. Mr. Hartzell, the county solicitor said Mr. Krum is too busy. I do not care what your assessment was-you should be offended that the County pays high priced Harrisburg Attorneys as well as Mr. Hartzell to stonewall finding out if the assessment meets Judge Kuhn's order. The calculation would take only a few hours and if the COD is really 3.96% or even 15% or less Freedom will drop the suit. If the assessment is good why not? If the assessment is bad, why delay, why pay lawyers? Paul Kellett
Adams Voice of the People

Carlisle, PA

#90 Jan 8, 2011
paul kellett wrote:
The Judge yesterday boiled the whole case down to "Did the County and 21st Century abide by Judge Kuhn's order in that is the COD less than 15%. Although the County violated every State law on how reassessments should be done, this outcome is okay with me. Not because I feel that it is okay to violate every law but because I know that the COD, the true COD not some doctored Tim Barr creation is well in excess of 15% The County knows this as well. Why else would they refuse the settlement offer made by Freedom Township that says that we take every property that was sold by a Realtor from July1,2010 to Dec.31, 2010, our base year and compare those sold prices to the assessed values sent out on July 1, 2010? The data would be provided by the Realtors Association of York and Adams County, and the math done by Daryl Krum of the County Assessors office. Mr. Hartzell, the county solicitor said Mr. Krum is too busy. I do not care what your assessment was-you should be offended that the County pays high priced Harrisburg Attorneys as well as Mr. Hartzell to stonewall finding out if the assessment meets Judge Kuhn's order. The calculation would take only a few hours and if the COD is really 3.96% or even 15% or less Freedom will drop the suit. If the assessment is good why not? If the assessment is bad, why delay, why pay lawyers? Paul Kellett
I am sure the actual truth is somewhere between your characterization and the counties. As far as I am concerned, it is all bull$#!] political posturing. The decision making parties on both sides are stubborn and overly-confident in their abilities. Weikert, Hartzell, Kellet, everyone involved are just playing the game. It is a shame for the people of Adams.

To the County: You know you made mistakes, OWN UP TO THEM. You know Tim Barr is a PR nightmare, because he is condescending, and long-winded. You know Hartzell talks down to people, don't let him. It doesn't take a genius to see the numbers are more than 4% off...just admit it and move on with getting it right. Wasting taxpayer money to defend a lawsuit just because you want to be right is self-glorification, which is likely advice from Hartzell. If you would fix the numbers, no one would want to throw the hole thing out.

Kellet: You know they didn't violate every law, that is exaggerating, attempting to incite the people of Adams that you are some kind of Robin Hood. You are not. Would you speak in specifics for now on? Don't generalize the county as criminals. You know you are angry about the counties perceived indifference to citizen concerns. You also know that your motivation is a personal one, and in no way a reflection of you as a "community-centered individual", so please don't play that card anymore?

People of Adams: Neither side is right, and the end result will be nothing changes, by default, and more of the peoples money will be wasted, and they will come looking for more. Isn't it time to have some who says "enough is enough, settle this, get it right, and move on." Remember that at the ballot box this year.
paul kellett

Carlisle, PA

#91 Jan 8, 2011
With a name like "Adams Voice Of The People" certainly you are in a good position to know my intentions, but let us discuss my claims. The Assessment Law says that after the assessment notices are mailed on July 1, Assessment changes can only be made in a public hearing by the Board of assessment appeals. The decision of the board will be entered into the minutes of the meeting and will be delivered either in person or by mail within 5 days of the hearing. The law also states that the hearings will be conducted in the following manner. The assessment will be entered into the record,the taxpayer will present all their evidence at which time the board will determine whether or not the taxpayer has met the burden of proof to raise a reasonable doubt as to the validity of the assessment. If they have not, the board states that and the hearing is done, the assessment stands as is. If the taxpayer does meet the burden of proof, the County then presents any evidence it wishes the board to consider, but the assessment "has lost all its evidentiary value." The statute also states that all dates are mandatory and cannot be changed by any party. The law states that all appeals will be heard by Oct. 31, etc. Now, AVOTP, which law did they follow. And I could go on about others broken, the appeal form, the notice to the municipalities,but if you are fair, you get the point. I am willing to forget all this and drop the lawsuit if the County proves that the COD is less than 15%. I hate wasting money, so I am willing to let their employees do the calculations, but they refuse. I begged the county commissioners long before Freedom sued to look at this and straighten it out. I said I would help them prove that they were misled by 21st Century. We all make mistakes, just do your best to fix them. I do agree that we should settle this get it right and move on. We could have this finished by Wed. if the County would agree to follow Judge Kuhn's order and calculate the COD. If it is really less than 15%, I will admit that i was /am wrong and apologize for wasting everybody's time. Paul Kellett
Moose

Gettysburg, PA

#92 Jan 8, 2011
I also feel that if they use the correct numbers, that is those that 21st Century placed on Adams properties on July 1, 2010, and compared to sales after July 1, 2010, the COD will be more than 15%. Failure of county officials to acknowledge these numbers only delays the results of this case and WASTES TAXPAYERS MONEY. There is a time to fight and a time to accept fate. Why protect 21st Century's product? Let them do it! Show us how flawed it is, then let the county go after them for delivering a flawed product.
bob

Fannettsburg, PA

#93 Jan 8, 2011
tim you da man show me on here some of those clean and green propertys that the base rate is off the county could bring in big money lower everyones tax bill come on tim 10 acre propertys with a base acre price of 456 tons of them i thought that they pay fair market price on the base acre like 45,000 well tim lets see your work now put up or shut up
yep yep

Gettysburg, PA

#94 Jan 8, 2011
Moose has asked that we evaluate any commissioners record to see if they deserve our vote (not his words exactly - sorry). I'll start with Ms. Moreno.#1 Did NOT attend public meeting at the Middle School held by Peoples Voice Adams.#2 I have attended just 2 Commissioners meetings at the Courthouse plus Channel 19 TV. She was directly asked if she was a Democrat. She replied yes. She was then asked if she agreed with everything 21 Century and the two other Commissioners. Yes, she replied. When asked an additional specific question concerning the reassessment, she then pursed her lips together and said NOTHING more.
I'd pretty much say in her case, that salary was pretty much a gift. Nothing but one of George's sheepeole. FAIL!!
Do you think she'll show up for Candidate's night?
By the way, I'm glad her relative thinks she did such a great job (see previous page).
Adams Voice of the People

Carlisle, PA

#95 Jan 9, 2011
paul kellett wrote:
With a name like "Adams Voice Of The People" certainly you are in a good position to know my intentions, but let us discuss my claims. The Assessment Law says that after the assessment notices are mailed on July 1, Assessment changes can only be made in a public hearing by the Board of assessment appeals. The decision of the board will be entered into the minutes of the meeting and will be delivered either in person or by mail within 5 days of the hearing. The law also states that the hearings will be conducted in the following manner. The assessment will be entered into the record,the taxpayer will present all their evidence at which time the board will determine whether or not the taxpayer has met the burden of proof to raise a reasonable doubt as to the validity of the assessment. If they have not, the board states that and the hearing is done, the assessment stands as is. If the taxpayer does meet the burden of proof, the County then presents any evidence it wishes the board to consider, but the assessment "has lost all its evidentiary value." The statute also states that all dates are mandatory and cannot be changed by any party. The law states that all appeals will be heard by Oct. 31, etc. Now, AVOTP, which law did they follow. And I could go on about others broken, the appeal form, the notice to the municipalities,but if you are fair, you get the point. I am willing to forget all this and drop the lawsuit if the County proves that the COD is less than 15%. I hate wasting money, so I am willing to let their employees do the calculations, but they refuse. I begged the county commissioners long before Freedom sued to look at this and straighten it out. I said I would help them prove that they were misled by 21st Century. We all make mistakes, just do your best to fix them. I do agree that we should settle this get it right and move on. We could have this finished by Wed. if the County would agree to follow Judge Kuhn's order and calculate the COD. If it is really less than 15%, I will admit that i was /am wrong and apologize for wasting everybody's time. Paul Kellett
I love how you quote laws on Assessment Appeals, but fail to mention to everyone that those laws are not for Mass Reappraisal. Also, you quote statutes, but would you like to quote case-law now? What does case-law say? Hasn't many of the same processes been done in other counties, and withstood legal challenge?

Again, I think their numbers are terrible, but I will not stoop to ignoring the entire truth in an effort to make people less informed than me think I am Robin Hood. You are doing one of two things: 1. Ignoring all of the facts for your benefit, 2. You really don't know all of the facts. Pick 1 or 2, either way You don't qualify as a good commissioner replacement, just more of the same ole stuff.
Adams Voice of the People

Carlisle, PA

#96 Jan 9, 2011
Moose wrote:
I also feel that if they use the correct numbers, that is those that 21st Century placed on Adams properties on July 1, 2010, and compared to sales after July 1, 2010, the COD will be more than 15%. Failure of county officials to acknowledge these numbers only delays the results of this case and WASTES TAXPAYERS MONEY. There is a time to fight and a time to accept fate. Why protect 21st Century's product? Let them do it! Show us how flawed it is, then let the county go after them for delivering a flawed product.
I agree. Fight the numbers. Make them right. Fight our officials for not fighting the numbers.

Thing I don't understand: The people contributing to the lawsuit costs, why didn't they use their money to hire a third party contractor who is reputable to dispute the numbers? Instead the decision was made to try and catch the county on a technicality in process. No Judge will rule in favor of the lawsuit as written, because no tangible evidence was offered as proof. I wish there was an expert on Kellets side, but he is far from it, and a judge will see that.

appealing

Gettysburg, PA

#97 Jan 12, 2011
ron wrote:
the people of adams county should have bin told the truth filing your assessement with the court then to find out that it could have bin selleted out of court and you did not need to spend the 150.00 for the case if i had knowed this i would have filed and let mr hartzel look at my apprasal i think he is a fair man also i think that tax payers should still have the right to file and have someone that knows what their doing
This "settling out of court" is not what you think. It just means ( like they do in traffic courts ) that another person gives you a deal so you won't tie up the court with your situation. You had to file and pay your extra 155$ for them to look at your case in this manner before you actually go before the judge.

If this were traffic court ( meaning to do with an auto accident, ticket, etc ), the new money making scam is " take the deal and you dont get points or have to pay court costs, etc if you lose. But you do pay a higher fine. "

Everything has an angle today - and it is not in your favor but the courts, lawyers, and government ( local, state, or fed ).

Cumberland Twp police do the same thing every day with their scam tickets to pay for the force.

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