TL: The company hired to reassess Luzerne County property values had argued in court that the county has a contractual obligation to pay the company to manage and defend the county against Hanover Township resident Vic Kopko’s property assessment court challenge.
But the county's newly hired legal guns say not so fast. Philadelphia based Elliott Greenleaf & Dean is getting $300+ per hour to defend the county in the lawsuit. Why in-house lawyers can't handle this is puzzling. Staff Solicitor David Schwager, who represents the assessment appeals board, doesn’t have time to devote to the Kopko case because he’s busy processing mediations, commissioners said. Every county department, board and agency has a solicitor which may or may not be mandated by state law. It seems like there are hundreds of them. The GSC should look at creating a solicitors office with a staff of attorneys that would handle all county legal business. Rosenn Jenkins & Greenwald was originally hired but pulled out because of a claimed conflict that Dr. Kopko called bullshit. “I believe they’re smelling a case that they can’t win,” Kopko said.
Some more fun with reassessment include The Luzerne County Assessor’s Office has failed to fully value and tax a Rice Township residential property that’s on the market for an asking price of $649,000. The home is owned by Angelo Terrana. Terrana sits on the county Board of Assessment Appeals, which oversees the assessor’s office. Plus there is Participant 2's multi-party Bob Mericle's dance over a Wilkes-Barre property that he owns. We own a rental double block and one side is valued $8000 more than the other but for the most part the houses are the same. 21st Century may have got a few things wrong.
And I got this in the inbox:
Would love to give you an update on reassessment. The law has been violated and the county knows it! Apparently the rats are turning on each other as 21st Century (who will be held responsible along with the commissioners and others) filed a brief indicating, and you guessed it, that reassessment is now illegal based on county actions and the settling, or tanking, based on your perspective, has reduced the equalized values.
Oh, by the way, mediation is absolutely illegal, appears nowhere in the 3rd Class County Reassessment Law, and was signed into "law" by none other than Mark "I'm gonna do time" Ciavarella. The process does not address the sweetheart deals for politician's and their family/friends/political contributors which it will when we file for removal in a few weeks. My attorneys and I are confident that we will prevail. We have to ..for the people! For as many on the ridiculously high side values, their are the ridiculously low values.
Please keep in mind that I met with the commissioners to head this off. I asked them for three things; 1) correct the overs and unders on reassessment (Urban indicated that he knew of at least 5 municipalities "grossly undervalued". He said he would not address those and each municipality should file an appeal in 2010. Not happening since the politicians in those municipalities need their constituents votes to get re-elected. 2) Guarantee no more tax increases since the base has been adjusted (Petrilla answered, "No way, can't do it" Could you blame her with the corruption and mismanagement of funds that have gone on? She is a party to it! 3) Return the windfall fees to taxpayers since their is evidence that 95% of individuals did not receive their Pa certified appraisal amounts and were beaten down because they could not afford anymore attorney fees or associated costs. (Can anyone say, collusion?)
It goes on and on. There will be 25 items that clearly has violated the law, let alone adding the county corruption issues in. I would enjoy to fill you in more. By the way, keep calling the Sue Henry Show.
Dr. Victor P. Kopko
13 hours ago
The most important question you didn't ask or answer is; What is Mr. Dean's connection to Luzerne County? Of the 8 gagillion law firms in the state, how'd they pick that one?
I love all these "coincidences":
"Terrana sits on the county Board of Assessment Appeals, which oversees the assessor’s office."
Funny, these things only happen to "connected" people!
That's pure coincidence, right? How many times are we supposed to believe these things? It's impossible to believe all these things, when you stack them all together.
Also, I didn't know that if you are the GIVER of a kickback, nothing happens to you! Only the TAKER, something happens to! I didn't know that! That's the way it seems, when you look at all these corruption stories.
Did anything happen to the Pittston Area kickback GIVER or the Juvie Bros. kickback GIVER(s)? I take it, it's legal to GIVE kickbacks, just not TAKE them. I'll have to make a note of this...
The 2004 Lycoming County "FAIR MARKET VALUE" Property Reassessment which was perpetrated by CENTURY 21 APPRAISALS of Middletown, Pa., was rigged for the rich and politically-privileged by putting LAND values on a PER LOT rather than a Per Acre BASIS thereby making the LARGEST, Most Exclusive, Wealthiest Estate LAND Parcels the LEAST VALUABLE for Taxation Purposes and the SMALLEST, High Crime Blighted Ghetto and Flood Zone LAND Parcels the MOST VALUABLE for Taxation Purposes. "judges", commissioners, lawyers, doctors, and politicians made out like bandits while the poor got screwed royally. The irrefutable, undeniable proof in the form of Lycoming County assessment public records has been filed repeatedly in federal and state kangaroo kourt under Hill v. Nassberg, et, al., Hill vg. Carpenter, et. al., and King's Bench Matters/Writs of Mandamus/Writs of Quo Warranto in Pa. Supreme kourt to no avail.
The Lycoming County commissioners were able to have the privatized assessment office of CENTURY 21 APPRAISALS perpetrate this MAJOR CRIMINAL FRAUD/ANTITHESIS of Fair Market Value Taxation law (see 72 Pa. CSA sec. 5020-402)/BREACH of $370,000.00 CONTRACT because the county is 25% illiterate and additional 50% marginally literate so 3 out of 4 people can't think as well as an 8 yr. old, a fact known to the commissioners because of the county being the only one in Pennsylvania selected to participate in a special federal reading program, and it is a one-issue, straight-party-stupid-voting county that is overwhelmingly Republican. Most Lycoming County residents don't think analytically but only look at the bottom line so the corrupt reassessment was like stealing candy from a retarded, sleeping, deaf, mute baby. I've notified thousands of county residents and dozens of high-ranking politicians of this showing them the proof to no avail.
Century 21 Appraisals charges Lycoming County residents $15.00 for an appeal of their 2004 "FAIR MARKET VALUE" Property Reassessments sitting in judgment of their own CORRUPT WORK PRODUCT--what a farce!! They want to keep the same tax revenue coming in for the county so they don't rule in favor of many appellants. The next step is to go to common pleas kourt where a "judge" who financially benefitted from the corrupt reassessment sits in judgment of that corrupt reassessment--another joke for due process!!
Lycoming County scandalously paid $13,000,000.00 for a building it assessed at $7,000,000.00. That helped get rid of Republican commissioner Nassberg only to be replaced by Republican Jeff Wheeland.
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