Commissioners to continue with tax appeal board

The county commissioners re-appointed two members to the board of assessment appeals, Thursday, allowing the new or re-elected commissioners, next year, to be unburdened with the previous administration’s decision.

In eliminating the board, the commissioners would handle real estate tax appeals directly and thus be held accountable by the electorate. Or, conversely, keeping the board in place would allow commissioners to focus on other tasks and only handle the tax exemptions.

Appointing members to the board of assessment appeals, and the continuation of the board, in general, are two distinct propositions, said J. Michael Wiley, solicitor.

“If this or a future board of commissioners were to decide to dissolve this (board of assessment appeals), and return to the prior way of doing things, that would eliminate the necessity of their term,” he said.

Additionally, The commissioners who installed the board of assessment appeals in 2014, wrote into the resolution that it could be dissolved at any time, said Brooke E. Wright, chief assessor.

Robert E. Moore and Frank V. DeAndrea, were re-appointed to serve until Dec. 31, 2022.

Both Tony Mussare and Richard Mirabito, commissioners, said they appreciate the work that board of assessment appeals has done.

“I really appreciate the service that they have provided to the county since 2014, I think it’s very valuable for Lycoming County,” said Mussare.

Mirabito said he, too, appreciates their dedication despite being in favor of the boards dissolution.

“I certainly don’t want to give the implication that somehow I don’t respect or appreciate what they do and the knowledge they bring, it’s more trying to responsive to constituents, but it’s true they do work very hard on behalf of the taxpayers,” he said.

In other business, the commissioners:

• Approved of the bills of sale for surplus property, auctioned on Municibid.

• Approved of a professional service agreement to purchase fuel from Professional Petroleum Service for the landfill’s fuel islands.

The next public meeting is slated for 10 a.m., Tuesday, in the Commissioners’ Briefing Room, at the Executive Plaza, 330 Pine Street.

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