Monday, November 20, 2006

Lebo School Board and Commission

Reading the comments to the last several posts, it's clear that I've missed something big:

The (members of the) Mt. Lebanon School Board and the (members of the) Mt. Lebanon Commission aren't speaking to each other.


Why (not)?
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The last I heard was that the Mt. Lebanon Commissioners were upset that the Mt. Lebanon School Board broke a long-standing agreement between the two parties. The agreement had been in effect for over 25 years and not a single School Director called a Mt. Lebanon Commissioner before breaking the agreement.

Mr. Hart was absent from the meeting, but did not favor the vote in the discussion meeting in early September and felt the board should re-evaluate their position at the October meeting. Another School Board member chose not to vote!??? All other School Board members voted to break the agreement with the Municipality and decided to send a company to challenge the 2006 appeals of remaining new homeowners. Well over 25% of Mt. Lebanon residents were not challenged by any group before the School Board got involved.

The agreement was an oral agreement that allowed the Municipality to address residential property and allowed the School District to address commercial property.

The Municipality began a practice of discrimination in Mt. Lebanon in 2002 and appealed new homeowners that were under-assessed. There were many problems with the Mt. Lebanon appeals that are described in an October blog. (Additions are never appealed, the municipality missed alot of new homes that didn't get appealed and called it a computer glitch, over-assessed homes are never appealed, etc.)

Everyone in Mt. Lebanon is assessed at the 2002 level except for the new homeowners. All of the School Board members and the Commissioners are assessed at the 2002 level.

The Mt. Lebanon appeal process has had a devastating effect on many new homeowners. Most of the new homeowners are young families or retirees that down-sized. The appeal process pushed out many middle class families and is a big reason why young people are no longer buying in Mt. Lebanon. (Check out the declining School District enrollment.) (Ask any Mt. Lebanon realtor about declining property value.)

There are literally families in Mt. Lebanon that have OVER-PAID $5,000 - $45,000 in taxes since 2002! They cannot receive refunds for any year except 2006 and the School Directors did not even have the courtesy to ask the Commissioners why they decided to no longer challenge appeals by new homeowners.

More new homeowners would love to speak at School Board meetings, but many of us are trying to sell our homes and get out of Mt. Lebanon.

It is mind boggling that the School District makes children work together, yet those in charge of the School District cannot work with the Commissioners!

Think twice before buying in Mt. Lebanon now. The School District will probably appeal your home and soon your taxes will be twice as high as everyone on your street! Welcome to Mt. Lebanon!

If anyone attends the next School Board meeting ask if the two groups are speaking yet and when they plan to do so?

November 20, 2006 5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well this is definitely a turning point. Not only for Mt Lebanon, but all of Allegheny County. For 60 years the teachers got what they wanted. Assessing at 2002 does not guarantee the big backdoor tax they got each year. They must tax everyone now. This is a huge powershift and it won't be easy.

Mr. Onorato has mentioned that the assessments should be at 2002 rates. Period. The only thing that could be considered is if the assessment was underassessed in 2002. I've read that Plum burough tried doing what Lebo is trying, but failed. They ended up raising the millage.

Also, all this talk is about people who purchased their homes from 2002 to 2005. What about those who purchased this year?

November 20, 2006 6:18 PM  

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