Letter to the editor: Clarifying Hempfield property tax issues
There is so much misinformation about property taxes, it warrants a response. Many seek to scare Hempfield Area School District residents by saying the district is going to appeal their property, but that is absurd. The school board voted to appeal properties with a difference between fair market value (estimated price) and current market value (recent sale price) of greater than $250,000. In 2018, only two residences out of 18,000 met this threshold.
If your neighbor owns a home valued at $400,000 while yours is $150,000 but you are paying the same taxes, they are getting a tax break and you are not. When you sell your home, you are at a disadvantage if a similar home has a lower tax bill. That is unfair to the vast majority of property owners. Severely under-assessed properties a getting a subsidy or significant tax break on the backs of everyone else. Every property should be taxed appropriately.
Homeowners and local governments should continue to fight for fair tax assessments through appeals to ensure that all properties are treated equally and fairly under the law. Hempfield Area still has the sixth lowest school district taxes in Westmoreland County and we plan to keep it that way.
The writer is on the Hempfield Area School Board.