1Amending the act of June 27, 1996 (P.L.403, No.58), entitled "An
2act to enhance community and economic development in this
3Commonwealth by restructuring certain administrative
4functions and entities; changing the name of the Department
5of Commerce to the Department of Community and Economic
6Development; transferring functions of the Department of
7Community Affairs into the Department of Community and
8Economic Development and other agencies; providing for a
9Deputy Secretary for Community Affairs and Development in the
10Department of Community and Economic Development;
11establishing the Center for Local Government Services and the
12Local Government Advisory Committee; establishing the Small
13Business Advocacy Council; conferring powers and duties on
14the Legislative Reference Bureau; and making repeals,"
15codifying the State Tax Equalization Board into the act;
16further providing for creation of board, for membership, for
17general powers and duties and for common level ratio;
18providing for publication of information by board funding
19contingency; and making a related repeal.

20The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
21hereby enacts as follows:

22Section 1.  The act of June 27, 1996 (P.L.403, No.58), known
23as the Community and Economic Development Enhancement Act, is
24amended by adding a chapter to read:



1Section 1500.  Definitions.

2The following words and phrases when used in this chapter
3shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
4context clearly indicates otherwise:

5"Board."  The State Tax Equalization Board.

6Section 1501.  Creation of board.

7The State Tax Equalization Board is established within the

9Section 1502.  Membership.

10(a)  Members.--The board shall consist of three members who
11must be citizens of the United States, residents of this
12Commonwealth and qualified electors for a period of at least one
13year next preceding their appointments. Each appointee must be
14familiar by training or experience with the problems involved in
15the work of the board.

16(b)  Appointment and service.--

17(1)  The members of the board shall be appointed by the
18Governor for terms of four years each, or until their
19successors are appointed and qualified. A vacancy shall be
20filled by appointment of the Governor for the unexpired term.

21(2)  A member of the board may, after notice and an
22opportunity to be heard, be removed for cause by the

24(c)  Compensation.--The chairman of the board shall receive
25an annual salary of $25,000, and each other member shall receive
26an annual salary of $24,000.

27Section 1503.  Chairman.

28The Governor shall designate one of the members as chairman.
29The chairman shall be in charge of the administration of the
30board and the transaction of its routine business and shall

1execute the orders and policies of the board. The chairman may
2delegate to a member the authority to act for the chairman.

3Section 1504.  Quorum.

4Two members of the board shall constitute a quorum and any
5action of the board shall require the approval of two members.

6Section 1505.  Individual powers of members of the board.

7(a)  Authority.--Any investigation, inquiry or hearing, which
8the board has power to undertake or hold may be undertaken or
9held by one or more individual members of the board.

10(b)  Effect.--

11(1)  Conduct under subsection (a) shall be deemed to be
12conduct of the board.

13(2)  In order to be effective, any determination, ruling
14or order based upon conduct under subsection (a) must be:

15(i)  approved and confirmed by a quorum of the board;

17(ii)  filed in the office of the board.

18(3)  Upon compliance with paragraph (2), the
19determination, ruling or order shall be the determination,
20ruling or order of the board.

21(c)  Agents and examiners.--

22(1)  In any investigation, inquiry or hearing, which may
23be instituted, the board is authorized to employ special
24agents or examiners.

25(2)  Agents and examiners under this subsection are
26authorized to administer oaths, examine witnesses and receive
27evidence, in a locality designated by the board. Evidence
28under this paragraph shall have the same force and effect as
29if taken or received by the board or any one or more of its
30members under subsections (a) and (b).

1Section 1506.  Administrative assistance.

2The department shall provide appropriate administrative,
3legal and technical support as needed by the board in order to
4accomplish its purpose.

5Section 1507.  General powers and duties.

6The board has the following powers and duties:

7(1)  To determine the market value of taxable real
8property in each school district and to conduct
9investigations, require information and have access to public
10records necessary to make the determination under this

12(2)  To require, in counties of the first class, the 
13board of revision of taxes of such county, or its successor 
14agency, and the county commissioners, or the body or 
15individual exercising equivalent authority, of each county 
16other than a county of the first class, to furnish a monthly 
17list of all conveyances or other transfers of real estate, or 
18any interest in real estate, recorded within the county 
19during the preceding month, stating the value of the Federal 
20tax stamps affixed to the deed for each conveyance, and the 
21assessed valuations for county tax purposes of the real 

23(3)  To certify to the Department of Education and to the 
24board of school directors of each school district:

25(i)  by July 1 of each odd-numbered year, a list of 
26all school districts showing the market value of taxable 
27real property and the assessed valuation for county tax 
28purposes; and

29(ii)  by July 1 of each even-numbered year, the 
30changes in market values which result from properties 

1going on or off the assessment rolls for taxation 

3(3.1)  By July 1 of each odd-numbered year, to furnish to
4the board of school directors of each school district
5information as pertains to taxable real property in that
6school district.

7(4)  To hear and decide appeals of parties that are 
8aggrieved by a finding or conclusion of the board.

9(5)  To:

10(i)  investigate the finances and general
11circumstances of a school district requesting special aid
12from the Department of Education; and

13(ii)  advise the Department of Education in making
14grants of special aid.

15(6)  To make surveys and investigations of the finances
16of school districts in the interest of a more equitable
17distribution of school support.

18(7)  To subpoena State and local officials and to require
19from them information as necessary for the proper discharge
20of its duties.

21(8)  To discharge functions imposed upon departmental
22administrative boards by the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.177,
23No.175), known as The Administrative Code of 1929.

24(9)  To establish, annually, by July 1, a common level 
25ratio of assessed value to market value in each county for 
26the prior calendar year.

27(10)  To meet as necessary and at least every other month
28to approve or confirm any determination, ruling or order
29pursuant to section 1505.

30(11)  To create in consultation with the County

1Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania and the Assessors'
2Association of Pennsylvania an operations manual to be
3utilized by counties when completing a countywide
4reassessment or when valuating property.

5(12)  To create and maintain a centralized and
6standardized Statewide database for counties to utilize and
7report to the board all property values and data as required
8by the board.

9(13)  To develop and maintain Statewide training programs
10for all persons involved in the valuation of property within
11all of the counties of this Commonwealth. These programs
12shall provide basic and detailed training that shall be
13completed and passed by any person employed to collect,
14compile, compare or handle data associated with the valuation
15of any property for purposes of reassessment valuation within
16this Commonwealth.

17(14)  To develop standards on contracting for assessment
18services in consultation with the County Commissioners
19Association of Pennsylvania and the Assessors' Association of
20Pennsylvania, taking into consideration the standards
21published by the International Association of Assessing
22Officers. The standards shall:

23(i)  Require that the methodology used by any person,
24company or organization to value property in this
25Commonwealth be made public.

26(ii)  State that all data and calculations are the
27property of the county and this Commonwealth.

28Section 1508.  Compilation of data.

29(a)  Requirement.--The board shall accumulate and compile

1(1)  showing the prices at which real property in each
2school district has been sold and all other available matter
3relevant to the market value of real property in all school
4districts; and

5(2)  concerning new sales and improvements and other data
6necessary to ensure that the records of the board show the
7current present market value of real property in each school
8district as nearly as the same can be determined.

9(b)  Authority.--In compiling data, the board is authorized 
10to examine all of the following:

11(1)  Local tax assessment records maintained by local
12assessors or county and city assessors and boards,
13commissions or departments charged with the duty of revising

15(2)  Public records.

16Section 1509.  Monthly reports by counties and Commonwealth

18(a)  Duty.--The following shall apply:

19(1)  It shall be the duty of the following entities to 
20prepare, certify and electronically deliver to the board on 
21the 15th day of each month a list as prescribed by the board 
22of all conveyances or other transfers of real estate or any 
23interest in real estate, conveyed consistent with any 
24procedures for excluding sales data established in accordance 
25with section 1516.2(2), recorded within the county during the 
26preceding month:

27(i)  In counties of the first class, the board of 
28revision of taxes or its successor agency.

29(ii)  In counties of the second class, the office of
30property assessment or its successor agency.

1(iii)  In counties of the second class A through
2eighth class, the board as defined in 53 Pa.C.S. § 8802
3(relating to definitions).

4(2)  The list under paragraph (1) shall include the value
5of the Federal tax stamps affixed to the deed for each
6conveyance or transfer as set forth on the list and the
7assessed valuation for county tax purposes of the real

9(3)  At the end of each month, a list of all the real 
10estate conveyed or transferred within the county during the 
11month, stating the value of Federal tax stamps affixed to the 
12instrument conveying or transferring the real estate or any 
13interest in the real estate, shall be prepared and delivered 
14as follows:

15(i)  In counties of the first class, the recorder of
16deeds shall prepare and deliver the list to the board of
17revision of taxes or its successor agency.

18(ii)  In all counties except for a county of the
19first class, the recorder of deeds shall prepare and
20deliver the list to the county commissioners or the body 
21or agency exercising equivalent authority.

22(b)  Payment.--The board shall pay to the board of revision 
23of taxes, or its successor agency, of counties of the first 
24class and to the county commissioners, or the body or individual 
25exercising equivalent authority, of every county except a county 
26of the first class the sum of 20¢ for each conveyance or 
27transfer of real estate on each list prepared, certified and 
28delivered to the board for its use under this section.

29Section 1510.  Annual reports of local assessing officials.

30By June 1 of each year, the following entities shall file

1with the board a certificate prescribed by the board and on
2blanks furnished by the board showing the assessed valuation of
3all real property in each school district in the county on which
4the taxes for the then current year are levied:

5(1)  The board of revision of taxes, or its successor 
6agency, of counties of the first class.

7(2)  The office of property assessment, or its successor 
8agency, of counties of the second class.

9(3)  The board as defined in 53 Pa.C.S. § 8802 (relating 
10to definitions).

11Section 1511.  Market value and percentage of value.

12From the data compiled under section 1510, the board shall as
13soon as possible after July 1, determine the market value of
14real property in each school district and the percentage of the
15market value as determined by the assessed valuation for county
16tax purposes.

17Section 1512.  Certification.

18As soon as the market value of the real property in each
19school district in this Commonwealth has been determined and the
20percentage of the value of the assessed valuation for county tax
21purposes has been established, the board shall certify the
22amounts to the Department of Education and for each school
23district to the board of school directors.

24Section 1513.  Objections.

25(a)  School district.--Any school district aggrieved by any
26finding or conclusion of the board affecting the amount of any
27Commonwealth subsidy payable to it may file written objections
28with the board.

29(b)  Hearing.--The board shall conduct a hearing at which the
30board and the school district may submit evidence to show that

1the findings of the board are incorrect and present arguments to
2substantiate its contentions.

3(c)  Findings.--Following review of all the evidence
4submitted and the arguments of the school district, the board
5may make modifications and adjustments of its findings and
6computations as appropriate or dismiss the objections. The board
7shall prepare written findings of fact based upon all the
8evidence submitted.

9(d)  Final valuations.--Any valuations adjusted under
10subsection (c) shall form the basis of valuations used to
11determine the amounts of Commonwealth educational subsidies.

12Section 1514.  Annual adjustments.

13By July 1 of each odd-numbered year, the board shall adjust 
14the market value of real property in each school district to 
15conform with new data accumulated since the market values for 
16the last preceding two years were determined. The board shall 
17determine the percentage of the market value of the assessed 
18valuation of all real property in the school district on which 
19county taxes for the then current year are levied. The market 
20values, percentages and adjustments shall be certified to the 
21Department of Education and each school district with the same 
22right to hearings as provided under section 1513.

23Section 1515.  Determination and apportionment.

24(a)  Certification.--As soon as possible each odd-numbered
25year and after the final adjustment of values by the board, the
26board shall certify to the Department of Education the market
27value of all real property in each school district.

28(b)  Standard reimbursement fraction.--Each school district's
29assessed valuation to be used for purposes of computing its
30standard reimbursement fraction shall be the market value under

1subsection (a).

2(c)  Payments.--Every two years the market value under
3subsection (a) shall be used by the Department of Education to
4determine the amount of funds needed to meet payments required
5by law to school districts and vocational schools within the two
6fiscal years beginning every June 1 and ending every May 31. The
7Department of Education shall allot the payments to the
8respective school districts.

9Section 1516.  Special aid to school districts.

10Before granting any special aid to a school district, the
11Department of Education shall submit the request for special aid
12to the board. The board shall make its recommendations with
13consideration given to the school district's ability to raise
14funds by taxation. Before making any recommendation, the board
15shall carefully investigate and study the financial
16circumstances of the school district and whether or not it has
17exhausted its available taxing power not only on real property,
18but also on all other available property and subjects of
19taxation, and that collection of taxes is being effectively
20conducted and enforced. Recommendations shall be transmitted to
21the Department of Education.

22Section 1516.1.  Common level ratio.

23(a)  Establishment.--The board shall annually, prior to July
241, establish for each county a common level ratio for the prior
25calendar year.

26(b)  Method.--In arriving at the ratio, the board shall use
27statistically acceptable techniques, including sales ratio
28studies. The board's method in arriving at the ratio shall be
29public information. The ratio shall be certified to the chief
30assessor of each county and shall be admissible as evidence in

1any appeal involving real property tax assessments.

2(c)  Appeal.--Any political subdivision or taxpayer aggrieved
3by any finding, conclusion, method or technique of the board
4made under this section may, in writing, file objections to and
5appeal de novo the ratio determination to Commonwealth Court.
6After receiving the objections, the board may grant a hearing
7and may modify or adjust its findings and computations as

9(d)  Review.--If the common level ratio increases or
10decreases by ten percent or more, the board shall immediately
11review its findings prior to certification of the ratio.

12Section 1516.2.  Publication of information by board.

13The board shall publish the following information that shall
14be updated annually:

15(1)  The statistical methods used to calculate the common
16level ratio and the State Tax Equalization Board market

18(2)  Procedures for excluding sales data and how the
19procedures compare with practices of the International
20Association of Assessing Officers.

21(3)  Procedures to ensure that dissimilar properties are
22not treated as a single group.

23(4)  Standards to be used for sales sample size and
24procedures to be used when sales samples are not adequate.

25If a municipality contracts for services relating to an
26assessment, the data collected by the contractor must be
27transmitted to the municipality within 60 days of its collection
28or development.

29Section 1517.  Saving clause.

30Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to change or

1affect the validity of the assessed valuation of any real
2property for the purpose of levying taxes by any political

4Section 1518.  (Reserved).

5Section 1519.  Repeal.

6All acts and parts of acts are repealed insofar as they are
7inconsistent with this chapter.

8Section 1520.  (Reserved).

9Section 1521.  Funding contingency.

10The board's authority to carry out the duties set forth in
11section 1507(11), (12), (13) and (14) is contingent upon receipt
12of an appropriation in an amount sufficient to complete these

14Section 2.  Repeals are as follows:

15(1)  The General Assembly declares that the repeal under 
16paragraph (2) is necessary to effectuate the addition of
17Chapter 15 of the act.

18(2)  The act of June 27, 1947 (P.L.1046, No.447),
19referred to as the State Tax Equalization Board Law, is

21(3)  All acts and parts of acts are repealed insofar as
22they are inconsistent with this act.

23Section 3.  The addition of Chapter 15 of the act is a
24continuation of the act of June 27, 1947 (P.L.1046, No.447),
25referred to as the State Tax Equalization Board Law. The
26following apply:

27(1)  Except as otherwise provided in Chapter 15 of the
28act, all activities initiated under the State Tax
29Equalization Board Law shall continue and remain in full
30force and effect and may be completed under Chapter 15 of the

1act. Resolutions, orders, regulations, rules, decisions and 
2sequence of methods used for arriving at market value for 
3odd-numbered and even-numbered years which were made under
4the State Tax Equalization Board Law and which are in effect
5on the effective date of this section shall remain in full
6force and effect until revoked, vacated or modified under
7Chapter 15 of the act. Contracts, obligations and agreements
8entered into under the State Tax Equalization Board Law are
9not affected nor impaired by the repeal of the State Tax
10Equalization Board Law.

11(2)  The Legislative Reference Bureau has the power and
12duty to recodify regulations of the State Tax Equalization
13Board to effectuate the addition of section 1501 of the act.

14(3)  Except as set forth in paragraph (4), any difference
15in language between Chapter 15 of the act and the State Tax
16Equalization Board Law is intended only to conform to the
17style of the addition of a new chapter to the act and is not
18intended to change or affect the legislative intent, judicial
19construction or administrative interpretation and
20implementation of the State Tax Equalization Board Law.

21(4)  Paragraph (3) does not apply to the addition of the
22following provisions of the act:

23(i)  Section 1501.

24(ii)  Section 1502(c).

25(iii)  Section 1507(8), (10), (11), (12), (13) and

27(iv)  Section 1516.1(d).

28(v)  Section 1516.2.

29(vi)  Section 1521.

30Section 4.  This act shall take effect immediately.