Reassessment effort moves on from Clarion Borough

About 5 percent of the properties in Clarion County have been visited for reassessment. Tuesday, Sarah Garner, the project manager for Massachusetts based Vision Government Solutions, told the Clarion County Board of Commissioners Clarion Borough has been processed and the assessors have begun the work in Clarion Township.

Garner said the assessors have been well-received and that there had been no problems. She noted the assessors will drive cars that will identify them.

“They will be wearing green vests and will have a lanyard identifying them,” Garner said. “They will not be entering anyone’s home.”

Garner said Vision has its “core staff” in place. She said there are currently 14 assessors and an office administrator.

The assessors use a laser system to measure the exterior of the houses. Permanent outside additions such as storage sheds or in-ground swimming pools will be assessed.

“We will annotate the individual characteristics of each property,” said Garner.

The physical assessment is the first step in attaining a new valuation of the property. Once the physical data has been collected real estate market studies will be conducted to develop formulas for estimating the fair market value.

“The software will be installed by the end of the month,” said Garner.

Property owners will receive a preliminary notice of the new assessed value. Property owners may appeal to the Board of Assessment Appeals. There are approximately 18,000 properties in the county.

Garner said the reassessment will not result in a universal tax increase. Garner said approximately one-third of the property owners will see a decrease in their taxes. One third will stay the same and one-third will see an increase in taxes.

Garner said on average the tax base will increase which could result in the reduction of property taxes by as much as 2 percent. The final valuation will be based on the property values in 2024.

Garner explained there is there is an anti-windfall provision that prohibits the taxing body from excessive gains.

Clarion County Commissioner Ted Tharan said the re-assessment is necessary to “create an equitable distribution of the tax load.” There has not been a physical reassessment of the county since 1975.

The total cost of the process is $1.7 million.

In other business, the commissioners:

– Approved the hiring of Brooke Culbertson to fill vacant position of juvenile probation officer at a starting rate of $14.94 per hour effective Sept. 9.

– Accepted the retirement of Jayne Smail effective Sept. 30

– Appointed DeWayne Harbaugh and Judy Gerzina to three-year terms on the Clarion County Library System Board of directors.

– Approved Clarion Area Chamber of Business & Industry to utilize Veterans Park and the courthouse parking lot for the 2022 Autumn Leaf Festival.

– Approved Clarion County Softball’s reservation of softball fields at Clarion County Park for Fall League Softball.

– Approved a $125,694 contract with Bachman’s Roofing, Building and Remodeling, Inc. for roof installation for the Human Services Building. Cost: $125,694.

– Approved the hiring of Clairee Coleman to fill vacant position of telecommunicator at the 9-1-1 center at a starting rate of $14 per hour effective Aug. 30.

– Approved the hiring of Laura O’Neil to fill vacant position of elections/voter registration coordinator at a starting rate of $17 per hour effective Sept. 19

– Approved a wage adjustment rate for prison employee Erica Peterson from $12 per hour to $13.59 per hour for completion of 720 hours of training.


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