PRINTER'S NO. 559
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
492
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY MARTIN, HUTCHINSON, J. WARD, SCHWANK AND KEARNEY,
APRIL 5, 2019
REFERRED TO CONSUMER PROTECTION AND PROFESSIONAL LICENSURE,
APRIL 5, 2019
AN ACT
Amending the act of April 16, 1992 (P.L.155, No.28), entitled
"An act providing for the certification and recertification
of assessors; establishing eligibility and training
requirements; defining the powers and duties of the State
Board of Certified Real Estate Appraisers relating to
training, certification and recertification of assessors; and
authorizing the board to establish fees," further providing
for definitions and for duties of board; repealing provisions
relating to qualifications; further providing for
certification; providing for employees of political
subdivisions; and further providing for disciplinary and
correction measures and for unlawful practice.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. The definitions of "assessor," "Certified
Pennsylvania Evaluator" and "revaluation company" in section 2
of the act of April 16, 1992 (P.L.155, No.28), known as the
Assessors Certification Act, are amended and the section is
amended by adding definitions to read:
Section 2. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
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context clearly indicates otherwise:
["Assessor." Any person responsible for the valuation of
real property for ad valorem taxation purposes.]
* * *
"Certified Pennsylvania Evaluator." An individual [who has
completed a minimum of 90 hours of basic courses of study
covering the appraisal assessing profession and has successfully
completed a comprehensive examination covering all phases of the
appraisal process and the assessment function established by the
assessment statutes of this Commonwealth] holding a valid
certificate issued in accordance with section 6.
* * *
"Property valuation model." A model that expresses the
forces of supply and demand at work in the local market and
seeks to explain or predict the market value of properties from
the available real estate data based on the sales comparison,
cost and income approaches to value. The term shall include
those models developed for use in mass appraisals that value a
universe of properties as of a given date using standard
methodology, employ common data and allow for statistical
testing.
"Revaluation company." A mass appraisal company[.]
conducting appraisals of real property within this Commonwealth.
"Revaluation company personnel." Persons employed by a
revaluation company, or by a contractor of a county or a
revaluation company, and directly responsible for the valuation
of real property or the development of a property valuation
model.
Section 2. Section 4(a), (b) and (d) of the act are amended
to read:
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Section 4. Duties of board.
(a) Certification [of assessors].--It shall be the duty of
the board to certify [all assessors] any person responsible for
the valuation of real property for ad valorem taxation purposes
and revaluation company personnel in this Commonwealth. [Any
assessor employed on or before March 16, 1992, but not holding
the title of Certified Pennsylvania Evaluator shall have three
years from the effective date of employment as an assessor to
obtain certification by the board. Any assessor employed after
March 16, 1992, shall obtain certification within a period of
three years from the effective date of employment as an
assessor.
(b) Qualification of revaluation company personnel.--Any
person employed by a revaluation company who is directly
responsible for the valuation of real property shall have met
the educational requirements of this act or successfully
completed educational courses equal to the minimum
qualifications established by the board. Failure to meet the
requirements contained in this section will prohibit that person
from determining the value of real property in this
Commonwealth.]
* * *
(d) Continuing education.--[An assessor] A Certified
Pennsylvania Evaluator applying for renewal of certification
shall submit proof to the board that, during the two years
immediately preceding renewal, the [assessor] individual has
satisfactorily completed [a minimum of 20] the required minimum
hours of continuing education relating to assessment and
appraisal [practices, provided that, for the 1993 renewal, an
assessor shall be required to complete only ten hours of
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continuing education.] practice. The board shall approve
continuing education courses and providers and set the required
minimum hours pursuant to regulations promulgated by the board.
Section 3. Section 5 of the act is repealed:
[Section 5. Qualifications.
(a) General rule.--All assessors in this Commonwealth shall
meet the requirements enumerated in subsection (b).
(b) Requirements.--An applicant shall meet the following
requirements:
(1) The applicant shall have a high school diploma, or
its equivalent, or two years of assessing experience.
(2) The applicant shall be at least 18 years of age.
(3) The applicant shall be a resident of this
Commonwealth for at least six months.
(4) The applicant shall have successfully completed a
minimum of 90 hours of the basic courses of study approved by
the board covering the appraisal assessing profession or any
other professional courses acceptable to the board. At the
discretion of the county commissioners, the county may
reimburse county assessors for the costs of completing the
courses of study required by this subsection.]
Section 4. Section 6 heading, (a) and (b) of the act are
amended to read:
Section 6. [Certification] Qualifications for certification.
(a) Requirement.--[All assessors] All persons responsible
for the valuation of real property for ad valorem taxation
purposes in this Commonwealth and all revaluation company
personnel shall be certified under this act.
(b) Application.--Application for certification shall be
made to the board by completion of the board's prescribed
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application form and shall be accompanied by the appropriate fee
established by the board. An applicant shall:
(1) Be of good moral character.
(2) Have a high school diploma, or its equivalent, or
two years of assessing experience.
(3) Be at least 18 years of age.
(4) Be a resident of this Commonwealth for at least six
months. This paragraph does not apply to revaluation company
personnel.
(5) Have successfully completed a minimum of 90 hours of
the basic courses of study approved by the board covering the
appraisal assessing profession or any other professional
courses acceptable to the board. The basic course of study
shall include instruction on judicial interpretation of the
uniformity clause of the Constitution of Pennsylvania. At the
discretion of the county commissioners of a county, the
county may reimburse county assessors for the costs of
completing the courses of study required by this subsection.
* * *
Section 5. The act is amended by adding a section to read:
Section 6.1. Employees of political subdivisions.
(a) Local regulation.--Except as provided in subsection (b),
nothing in this act shall prohibit a political subdivision or an
official authorized by law to value real property for ad valorem
taxation purposes from the hiring, training and supervision of
employees.
(b) Employee duties.--An employee may assist in data
collection and fulfill all other duties assigned by the
political subdivision or official, except that the employee may
not value real property unless certified in accordance with
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section 6.
Section 6. Section 7(a)(10) and (11) of the act are amended
to read:
Section 7. Disciplinary and correction measures.
(a) Authority of board.--The board may deny, suspend or
revoke certificates or limit, restrict or reprimand a
certificate holder for any of the following causes:
* * *
(10) Violating the confidential nature of records to
which the [assessor] certificate holder gained access through
employment or engagement as an assessor.
(11) Having an assessor's or evaluator's license or
certificate suspended, revoked or refused or receiving other
disciplinary action by a licensing or certification authority
of another state, territory or country.
* * *
Section 7. Section 8(a) and (e) of the act are amended and
the section is amended by adding a subsection to read:
Section 8. Unlawful practice.
(a) Prohibition on ad valorem tax valuations.--A person may
not perform valuations of real property for ad valorem tax
purposes[, except as provided by the three-year grace period
under section 4(a),] unless the person is currently certified by
the board as a Certified Pennsylvania Evaluator.
(a.1) Revaluation company personnel.--No revaluation company
personnel shall determine the value of real property in this
Commonwealth or develop property valuation models for use in
this Commonwealth unless currently certified by the board as a
Certified Pennsylvania Evaluator.
* * *
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(e) Civil penalty.--In addition to any other civil remedy or
criminal penalty provided in this act, the board, by a vote of
the majority of the maximum number of the authorized membership
of the board as provided by law or by a vote of the majority of
the duly qualified and confirmed membership or a minimum of
three members, whichever is greater, may, after affording an
accused party the opportunity for a hearing as provided in 2
Pa.C.S. (relating to administrative law and procedure), levy a
civil penalty of up to $1,000 on [any current certificate holder
who violates any provision of this act or on any person who
holds himself or herself out as a Certified Pennsylvania
Evaluator or performs valuations of real property for ad valorem
tax purposes for which certification as a Certified Pennsylvania
Evaluator is required without being so certified pursuant to
this act. The board shall levy this penalty only after affording
the accused party the opportunity for a hearing, as provided in
2 Pa.C.S. (relating to administrative law and procedure).] any
of the following:
(1) A current certificate holder who violates a
provision of this act.
(2) A person who holds himself out as a Certified
Pennsylvania Evaluator without being so certified under this
act.
(3) A person who violates the prohibitions in
subsections (a) and (a.1).
Section 8. This act shall take effect in 180 days.
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