What’s your assessment of school board elections?

By Hensil, Elizabeth | May 14, 2009 | 2 min. read

With 501 school districts in Pennsylvania, we can’t afford to blow off school board elections. In recent years they have become more and more important to REALTORS®. So much so, that some local associations are using RPAC dollars to give to local candidates. Why should you care? Let me tell you.

School districts are taxing authorities that have the right to appeal the assessment of your property. They, like the owner, can do this at any time. What better time to do it then after the sale? That is exactly what is happening in school districts across the state. In counties that haven’t reassessed in decades, school boards are looking at the sale price of homes and appealing the original assessment. For the most part, the property owner doesn’t stand a chance.

After a candidate is elected to the school board it is often difficult to convince them to oppose property tax assessment appeals because the benefits to the school district are overwhelming. But there is no benefit to the community when potential buyers avoid the district because they fear that a hike in taxes will make the home unaffordable. So why not get their ear before the election? When you decide to get involved in school board elections, ask the candidates how they feel about assessment appeals. Support the candidates that are on your side of the fence. RPAC contributions are a very effective way of showing your support. Campaigns are an expensive undertaking. Your financial commitment to the campaign will not be forgotten.

Are school boards appealing assessments in your area?

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