Reforming the State Tax Equalization Board
HARRISBURG – Legislation to reform the State Tax Equalization Board has unanimously passed the Senate, which is in response to inaccurate data forwarded by STEB to local school districts and municipalities. Senator John Gordner (R-27th, Berwick) says the problems were discovered locally.
Gordner said, “Both in Union and Northumberland Counties, the STEB board made a number of inaccurate assessments. There has been a number of changes with the STEB board. The executive director has been replaced and they have updated their computer systems. But, just to make sure it doesn’t happen in the future, we’ve added a number of specific reforms that would enable school districts and municipalities to have standing.”
The bill also would move STEB under the Department of Community and Economic Development.
Gordner says it makes sense to have the board under the DCED, because they have a local government division that can provide proper oversight for the board.
In 2010, there were numerous cases where STEB incorrectly determined market values within municipalities, resulting in wrong data in as many as 50 of the 89 school districts that require multi-county tax equalization. This included the Milton and Warrior Run Districts. The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for approval. (Ali Stevens)