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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: June 3, 2019 09:57 AM
From: Representative Kerry A. Benninghoff
To: All House members
Subject: Spot Assessments
It is not news that Pennsylvania’s property tax system is broken. Like many of you, I would like to see real property tax reform in Pennsylvania, but right now, we should at the very least address a symptom of our larger problem. That symptom is the misuse of spot appeals.

Across the Commonwealth, spot appeals are being misused as an improper means to balance budgets, hurting property owners in the process. Right now, it is legal for spot appeals to occur where there has been no improvement to the property. Not only that, these appeals can be initiated by third-parties who are paid “finder’s fees” for identifying properties to target.

This has resulted in property owners getting hit with massive tax increases after already deciding to buy a property and engage in the local economy. This is bad policy if we want blighted properties restored, investment in our communities and residents to have access to good, affordable housing.

While I would ultimately like to see significant property tax reform across this Commonwealth, my legislation will, in the meantime, provide better, more fair parameters for the initiation of spot appeals.

Introduced as HB1760