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:



2Section 1500.  Definitions.

3The following words and phrases when used in this chapter
4shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
5context clearly indicates otherwise:

6"Board."  The State Tax Equalization Board.

7Section 1501.  Creation of board.

8The State Tax Equalization Board is established within the

10Section 1502.  Membership.

11(a)  Members.--The board shall consist of three members who
12must be citizens of the United States, residents of this
13Commonwealth and qualified electors for a period of at least one
14year next preceding their appointments. Each appointee must be
15familiar by training or experience with the problems involved in
16the work of the board.

17(b)  Appointment and service.--

18(1)  The members of the board shall be appointed by the
19Governor for terms of four years each, or until their
20successors are appointed and qualified. A vacancy shall be
21filled by appointment of the Governor for the unexpired term.

22(2)  A member of the board may, after notice and an
23opportunity to be heard, be removed for cause by the

25(c)  Compensation.--The chairman of the board shall receive
26an annual salary of $25,000, and each other member shall receive
27an annual salary of $24,000.

28Section 1503.  Chairman.

29The Governor shall designate one of the members as chairman.
30The chairman shall be in charge of the administration of the

1board and the transaction of its routine business and shall
2execute the orders and policies of the board. The chairman may
3delegate to a member the authority to act for the chairman.

4Section 1504.  Quorum.

5Two members of the board shall constitute a quorum and any
6action of the board shall require the approval of two members.

7Section 1505.  Individual powers of members of the board.

8(a)  Authority.--Any investigation, inquiry or hearing, which
9the board has power to undertake or hold may be undertaken or
10held by one or more individual members of the board.

11(b)  Effect.--

12(1)  Conduct under subsection (a) shall be deemed to be
13conduct of the board.

14(2)  In order to be effective, any determination, ruling
15or order based upon conduct under subsection (a) must be:

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

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

19(3)  Upon compliance with paragraph (2), the
20determination, ruling or order shall be the determination,
21ruling or order of the board.

22(c)  Agents and examiners.--

23(1)  In any investigation, inquiry or hearing, which may
24be instituted, the board is authorized to employ special
25agents or examiners.

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

1members under subsections (a) and (b).

2Section 1506.  Administrative assistance.

3The department shall provide appropriate administrative,
4legal and technical support as needed by the board in order to
5accomplish its purpose.

6Section 1507.  General powers and duties.

7The board has the following powers and duties:

8(1)  To determine the market value of taxable real
9property in each school district and to conduct
10investigations, require information and have access to public
11records necessary to make the determination under this

13(2)  To require, in counties of the first class, the 
14board of revision of taxes of such county, or its successor 
15agency, and the county commissioners, or the body or 
16individual exercising equivalent authority, of each county 
17other than a county of the first class, to furnish a monthly 
18list of all conveyances or other transfers of real estate, or 
19any interest in real estate, recorded within the county 
20during the preceding month, stating the value of the Federal 
21tax stamps affixed to the deed for each conveyance, and the 
22assessed valuations for county tax purposes of the real 

24(3)  To certify to the Department of Education and to the 
25board of school directors of each school district:

26(i)  by July 1 of each odd-numbered year, a list of 
27all school districts showing the market value of taxable 
28real property and the assessed valuation for county tax 
29purposes; and

30(ii)  by July 1 of each even-numbered year, the 

1changes in market values which result from properties 
2going on or off the assessment rolls for taxation 

4(3.1)  By July 1 of each odd-numbered year, to furnish to
5the board of school directors of each school district
6information as pertains to taxable real property in that
7school district.

8(4)  To hear and decide appeals of parties that are 
9aggrieved by a finding or conclusion of the board.

10(5)  To:

11(i)  investigate the finances and general
12circumstances of a school district requesting special aid
13from the Department of Education; and

14(ii)  advise the Department of Education in making
15grants of special aid.

16(6)  To make surveys and investigations of the finances
17of school districts in the interest of a more equitable
18distribution of school support.

19(7)  To subpoena State and local officials and to require
20from them information as necessary for the proper discharge
21of its duties.

22(8)  To discharge functions imposed upon departmental
23administrative boards by the act of April 9, 1929 (P.L.177,
24No.175), known as The Administrative Code of 1929.

25(9)  To establish, annually, by July 1, a common level 
26ratio of assessed value to market value in each county for 
27the prior calendar year.

28(10)  To meet as necessary and at least every other month
29to approve or confirm any determination, ruling or order
30pursuant to section 1505.

1(11)  To create in consultation with the County
2Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania and the Assessors'
3Association of Pennsylvania an operations manual to be
4utilized by counties when completing a countywide
5reassessment or when valuating property.

6(12)  To create and maintain a centralized and
7standardized Statewide database for counties to utilize and
8report to the board all property values and data as required
9by the board.

10(13)  To develop and maintain Statewide training programs
11for all persons involved in the valuation of property within
12all of the counties of this Commonwealth. These programs
13shall provide basic and detailed training that shall be
14completed and passed by any person employed to collect,
15compile, compare or handle data associated with the valuation
16of any property for purposes of reassessment valuation within
17this Commonwealth.

18(14)  To develop standards on contracting for assessment
19services in consultation with the County Commissioners
20Association of Pennsylvania and the Assessors' Association of
21Pennsylvania, taking into consideration the standards
22published by the International Association of Assessing
23Officers. The standards shall:

24(i)  Require that the methodology used by any person,
25company or organization to value property in this
26Commonwealth be made public.

27(ii)  State that all data and calculations are the
28property of the county and this Commonwealth.

29Section 1508.  Compilation of data.

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


2(1)  showing the prices at which real property in each
3school district has been sold and all other available matter
4relevant to the market value of real property in all school
5districts; and

6(2)  concerning new sales and improvements and other data
7necessary to ensure that the records of the board show the
8current present market value of real property in each school
9district as nearly as the same can be determined.

10(b)  Authority.--In compiling data, the board is authorized 
11to examine all of the following:

12(1)  Local tax assessment records maintained by local
13assessors or county and city assessors and boards,
14commissions or departments charged with the duty of revising

16(2)  Public records.

17Section 1509.  Monthly reports by counties and Commonwealth

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

20(1)  It shall be the duty of the following entities to 
21prepare, certify and electronically deliver to the board on 
22the 15th day of each month a list as prescribed by the board 
23of all conveyances or other transfers of real estate or any 
24interest in real estate, conveyed consistent with any 
25procedures for excluding sales data established in accordance 
26with section 1516.2(2), recorded within the county during the 
27preceding month:

28(i)  In counties of the first class, the board of 
29revision of taxes or its successor agency.

30(ii)  In counties of the second class, the office of

1property assessment or its successor agency.

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

5(2)  The list under paragraph (1) shall include the value
6of the Federal tax stamps affixed to the deed for each
7conveyance or transfer as set forth on the list and the
8assessed valuation for county tax purposes of the real

10(3)  At the end of each month, a list of all the real 
11estate conveyed or transferred within the county during the 
12month, stating the value of Federal tax stamps affixed to the 
13instrument conveying or transferring the real estate or any 
14interest in the real estate, shall be prepared and delivered 
15as follows:

16(i)  In counties of the first class, the recorder of
17deeds shall prepare and deliver the list to the board of
18revision of taxes or its successor agency.

19(ii)  In all counties except for a county of the
20first class, the recorder of deeds shall prepare and
21deliver the list to the county commissioners or the body 
22or agency exercising equivalent authority.

23(b)  Payment.--The board shall pay to the board of revision 
24of taxes, or its successor agency, of counties of the first 
25class and to the county commissioners, or the body or individual 
26exercising equivalent authority, of every county except a county 
27of the first class the sum of 20¢ for each conveyance or 
28transfer of real estate on each list prepared, certified and 
29delivered to the board for its use under this section.

30Section 1510.  Annual reports of local assessing officials.

1By June 1 of each year, the following entities shall file
2with the board a certificate prescribed by the board and on
3blanks furnished by the board showing the assessed valuation of
4all real property in each school district in the county on which
5the taxes for the then current year are levied:

6(1)  The board of revision of taxes, or its successor 
7agency, of counties of the first class.

8(2)  The office of property assessment, or its successor 
9agency, of counties of the second class.

10(3)  The board as defined in 53 Pa.C.S. § 8802 (relating 
11to definitions).

12Section 1511.  Market value and percentage of value.

13From the data compiled under section 1510, the board shall as
14soon as possible after July 1, determine the market value of
15real property in each school district and the percentage of the
16market value as determined by the assessed valuation for county
17tax purposes.

18Section 1512.  Certification.

19As soon as the market value of the real property in each
20school district in this Commonwealth has been determined and the
21percentage of the value of the assessed valuation for county tax
22purposes has been established, the board shall certify the
23amounts to the Department of Education and for each school
24district to the board of school directors.

25Section 1513.  Objections.

26(a)  School district.--Any school district aggrieved by any
27finding or conclusion of the board affecting the amount of any
28Commonwealth subsidy payable to it may file written objections
29with the board.

30(b)  Hearing.--The board shall conduct a hearing at which the

1board and the school district may submit evidence to show that
2the findings of the board are incorrect and present arguments to
3substantiate its contentions.

4(c)  Findings.--Following review of all the evidence
5submitted and the arguments of the school district, the board
6may make modifications and adjustments of its findings and
7computations as appropriate or dismiss the objections. The board
8shall prepare written findings of fact based upon all the
9evidence submitted.

10(d)  Final valuations.--Any valuations adjusted under
11subsection (c) shall form the basis of valuations used to
12determine the amounts of Commonwealth educational subsidies.

13Section 1514.  Annual adjustments.

14By July 1 of each odd-numbered year, the board shall adjust 
15the market value of real property in each school district to 
16conform with new data accumulated since the market values for 
17the last preceding two years were determined. The board shall 
18determine the percentage of the market value of the assessed 
19valuation of all real property in the school district on which 
20county taxes for the then current year are levied. The market 
21values, percentages and adjustments shall be certified to the 
22Department of Education and each school district with the same 
23right to hearings as provided under section 1513.

24Section 1515.  Determination and apportionment.

25(a)  Certification.--As soon as possible each odd-numbered
26year and after the final adjustment of values by the board, the
27board shall certify to the Department of Education the market
28value of all real property in each school district.

29(b)  Standard reimbursement fraction.--Each school district's
30assessed valuation to be used for purposes of computing its

1standard reimbursement fraction shall be the market value under
2subsection (a).

3(c)  Payments.--Every two years the market value under
4subsection (a) shall be used by the Department of Education to
5determine the amount of funds needed to meet payments required
6by law to school districts and vocational schools within the two
7fiscal years beginning every June 1 and ending every May 31. The
8Department of Education shall allot the payments to the
9respective school districts.

10Section 1516.  Special aid to school districts.

11Before granting any special aid to a school district, the
12Department of Education shall submit the request for special aid
13to the board. The board shall make its recommendations with
14consideration given to the school district's ability to raise
15funds by taxation. Before making any recommendation, the board
16shall carefully investigate and study the financial
17circumstances of the school district and whether or not it has
18exhausted its available taxing power not only on real property,
19but also on all other available property and subjects of
20taxation, and that collection of taxes is being effectively
21conducted and enforced. Recommendations shall be transmitted to
22the Department of Education.

23Section 1516.1.  Common level ratio.

24(a)  Establishment.--The board shall annually, prior to July
251, establish for each county a common level ratio for the prior
26calendar year.

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

1assessor of each county and shall be admissible as evidence in
2any appeal involving real property tax assessments.

3(c)  Appeal.--Any political subdivision or taxpayer aggrieved
4by any finding, conclusion, method or technique of the board
5made under this section may, in writing, file objections to and
6appeal de novo the ratio determination to Commonwealth Court.
7After receiving the objections, the board may grant a hearing
8and may modify or adjust its findings and computations as

10(d)  Review.--If the common level ratio increases or
11decreases by ten percent or more, the board shall immediately
12review its findings prior to certification of the ratio.

13Section 1516.2.  Publication of information by board.

14The board shall publish the following information that shall
15be updated annually:

16(1)  The statistical methods used to calculate the common
17level ratio and the State Tax Equalization Board market

19(2)  Procedures for excluding sales data and how the
20procedures compare with practices of the International
21Association of Assessing Officers.

22(3)  Procedures to ensure that dissimilar properties are
23not treated as a single group.

24(4)  Standards to be used for sales sample size and
25procedures to be used when sales samples are not adequate.

26If a municipality contracts for services relating to an
27assessment, the data collected by the contractor must be
28transmitted to the municipality within 60 days of its collection
29or development.

30Section 1517.  Saving clause.

1Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to change or
2affect the validity of the assessed valuation of any real
3property for the purpose of levying taxes by any political

5Section 1518.  (Reserved).

6Section 1519.  Repeal.

7All acts and parts of acts are repealed insofar as they are
8inconsistent with this chapter.

9Section 1520.  (Reserved).

10Section 1521.  Funding contingency.

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

15Section 2.  Repeals are as follows:

16(1)  The General Assembly declares that the repeal under 
17paragraph (2) is necessary to effectuate the addition of
18Chapter 15 of the act.

19(2)  The act of June 27, 1947 (P.L.1046, No.447),
20referred to as the State Tax Equalization Board Law, is

22(3)  All acts and parts of acts are repealed insofar as
23they are inconsistent with this act.

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

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

1force and effect and may be completed under Chapter 15 of the
2act. Resolutions, orders, regulations, rules, decisions and 
3sequence of methods used for arriving at market value for 
4odd-numbered and even-numbered years which were made under
5the State Tax Equalization Board Law and which are in effect
6on the effective date of this section shall remain in full
7force and effect until revoked, vacated or modified under
8Chapter 15 of the act. Contracts, obligations and agreements
9entered into under the State Tax Equalization Board Law are
10not affected nor impaired by the repeal of the State Tax
11Equalization Board Law.

12(2)  The Legislative Reference Bureau has the power and
13duty to recodify regulations of the State Tax Equalization
14Board to effectuate the addition of section 1501 of the act.

15(3)  Except as set forth in paragraph (4), any difference
16in language between Chapter 15 of the act and the State Tax
17Equalization Board Law is intended only to conform to the
18style of the addition of a new chapter to the act and is not
19intended to change or affect the legislative intent, judicial
20construction or administrative interpretation and
21implementation of the State Tax Equalization Board Law.

22(4)  Paragraph (3) does not apply to the addition of the
23following provisions of the act:

24(i)  Section 1501.

25(ii)  Section 1502(c).

<-26(iii)  Section 1506.

<-27(iii) (iv)  Section 1507(8), (10), (11), (12), (13)
28and (14).

<-29(iv) (v)  Section 1516.1(d).

<-30(v) (vi)  Section 1516.2.

<- 1(vi) (vii)  Section 1521.

2Section 4.  This act shall take effect immediately.