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Resource ID: #14517
Subject: Taxes
Source: WTAE-TV (Pittsburgh)
Affiliation: 
Date: November 5-6, 1997

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Description

For decades, Allegheny county has had a mismanaged, some say corrupt, tax assessment system that has forced some people to pay more than they should, while others pay too little. In 1997, the county commissioners proposed a reassessment to return fairness to the system. The investigation sought to determine whether county officials' predictions were correct about how many assessments would increase and how many would decrease. The story also sought to determine which communities would be most affected by a county-wide reassessment, because there had been fingerpointing by officials and residents of poor and middle class communities who believed the rich were not paying their fair share. The story also attempted to find the most egregious cases where property owners paid less than their fair share. The story found that county officials' estimates were off. They estimated about a third of the assessments would go up, but WTAE found the figure to be 84-90 percent. Ranking the 15 most affected communities, the story predicted that middle class neighborhoods would see assessments go up most.

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