Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Stan the Man takes dahn Dan's Plan

Judge Stan Wettick might be accused of overreach; today, he issued a blanket judgment declaring all baseline assessments Statewide Unconstitutional. In his 94 page tome, Wettick's ruling puts in stark relief the absurdity of taxing property in the first place. Though Judge Stan's jurisdiction doesn't extend beyond Allegheny County, his wide-ranging judgment means Dan Onorato can't use his 'good for Westmoreland, good for me' argument any longer.

Brief history for those interested... we only tax property because Victorian taxation systems weren't sophisticated enough to fairly tax based on wealth. Consider it the first graduated income tax. If Henry Frick wants a 345 acre palace in Point Breeze, he'll cough up more coin than his hunkie employees living in rowhouses on the Southside.

Progressive, no? Well, we've been filing W2's since WWI, perhaps it's time for local government to get on board. Wettick declaring all baseline systems Unconstitutional may set up a Statewide challenge to baseline property tax systems, if the STOP people are cagey enough to cash in on this judgment. Unlike pressing Statewide concerns like smoking in bars, though, the State may not have the appetite to sort this mess out.

1 comment:

Highland Ave. said...

I own a 2,000 sqft. well kept Victorian on a 40' x 110' lot in the city. Assessed value: $34,600.

Next door is a ratty vacant lot, 20' x 110', ill kept, adjacent to a seedy alley. Assessed value: $37,800.