Two of Senator Martin’s Local Government Reform Bills Move Forward

HARRISBURG – Two bills to improve the operation of local governments moved closer to becoming law this week, according to Senator Scott Martin (R-13).

The Senate today approved Senate Bill 492, which would update the qualifications and training needed to assess the value of properties for tax purposes. The bill would require any person assessing real property values to complete the necessary training to be a certified Pennsylvania evaluator.

“State laws regarding the qualifications of tax assessors are murky, and that could lead to some properties being overvalued or undervalued when determining property taxes and other tax rates,” said Martin, who serves as Chair of the Senate Local Government Committee. “Homeowners should have the peace of mind to know that their property is assessed correctly and they are not paying higher taxes that are above similar properties in the same area.”

The bill now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

In addition, on Monday the Senate Appropriations Committee also approved Senate Bill 494, a bill Martin authored to help local governments complete construction projects when no bids are submitted for the project. Martin’s legislation would allow political subdivisions and authorities to enter into contracts for services when two consecutive advertisements fail to induce bids.

Under current law, projects cannot move forward if the local governing body does not receive an acceptable bid.

“There have been cases in the past where projects of great importance to individual communities could not move forward because they failed to generate a bid,” Martin said. “The bidding process is important to ensure taxpayer dollars are protected. However, when no bids are submitted for critical projects, counties and municipalities need another option.”

Senate Bill 494 was sent to the full Senate for consideration.


CONTACT:   Terry Trego (717) 787-6535

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