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Pottsgrove Loses More Tax Revenue In Appeal

UPPER POTTSGROVE PA – The Pottsgrove School District expects to lose between $30,000 and $40,000 in tax revenue annually, following its approval last week of an assessment appeal settlement on a portion of shopping center property located at North State and Wilson streets within Upper Pottsgrove Township.

The district, the township, and owners of the center – which lost a Giant Supermarket and several other tenants to the nearby Upland Square project when it opened – negotiated a dramatic drop in value for the land over a 7-year period, resulting in the revenue loss. The township parcel fell in value from an assessment of $629,090 in 2011 to $450,980 in 2014, then rose incrementally in subsequent years. It will be assessed at $467,500 during the 2017-2018 academic year, the district said.

The majority of the center is located with Pottstown borough. That property would be subject to separate negotiations not involving Pottsgrove.

The settlement was accepted by the Board of School Directors during its June 13 meeting at Pottsgrove High School. It represents the latest of such agreements sought primarily by commercial owners who, due to the economy or other factors in recent years, have been unsuccessful in filling vacancies or finding productive alternative uses for their properties.

Their cases are first heard by the Montgomery County Board of Assessment Appeals, which considers property owners’ and taxing authorities’ arguments on appropriate values, and then issues its own determinations. Because several parties are involved, usually the county, a borough or township, and a school district, all are part of subsequent negotiations for a settlement. The district’s legal firm, Fox Rothschild LLP, handled its negotiations.

During the meeting, Pottsgrove Superintendent Dr. William Shirk used the settlement to again voice the district’s opposition to proposed House Bill 1213, now being considered in Harrisburg. If enacted it would prohibit the district from seeking an appeal to raise the valuation should the property’s occupancy increase.

Related (to the Pottsgrove Board of School Directors’ June 13 meeting):

Photo from Google Images

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