Still stunned by outrageous property assessment challenges by the Hempfield Area School Board targeting individual homeowners, I thought that there is no better time to revisit the topic than now.
Hempfield homeowners were set upon by bounty hunters (actually attorneys, but why argue semantics?) hired by a majority of the school directors to challenge the assessed value of their residences. A successful challenge by the surrogates of the school board could almost double victims’ annual school taxes.
These barbaric antics triggered a Hempfield Township supervisor’s suggestion that the school board was “out of control.” Many homeowners thought so too, and turned out for school board meetings in sufficient numbers to convince the board to cut it out. The directors did that, sort of, when they adjusted an arbitrary threshold they set up for assessment appeals. This took most homeowners off the hit list, but the foundation of the policy still exists and the threshold could be reversed by the stroke of a pen.
Three apparent proponents of the assessment ripoffs are on the May 21 ballot seeking renomination to the school board. So if you want to live with the possibility that your taxes could rocket at the whim of just a few individuals, then vote for incumbents Paul Adams, Jeanne S. Smith and David Iwig.
Those who don’t care to endorse the reassessment scheme can consider some new faces in Paul Berginc Jr., Vince DeAugustine and Mike Alfery.
The candidates are all cross-filed, which results in voters having no idea of a candidate’s party affiliation.