Local real estate tycoon CJ Betters has filed a lawsuit against Beaver County and County Commissioners Tony Amadio, Joe Spanik, and Dennis Nichols, along with Chief County Assessor Michael Kohlman, asking a judge to force officials to conduct reassessments of every single property in the county.
“Presently, the Defendants have failed to reassess the entire County of Beaver since 1982,” wrote attorney John Havey in the court filing on behalf of Betters, “a period of thirty-three (33) years and the valuations placed on the various properties throughout the County have become so disparate that a county-wide revision of assessments is necessary. It is believed and therefore averred it is necessary for revaluation of all property within Beaver County to bring its system up to date and to clear up inequities for the owners of those properties who are having their tax burden subsidized by owners of other properties.”
Betters’ lawsuit alleges there have been major shifts in Beaver County since the last countywide assessment was done which have altered property values significantly.
“Since 1982, major factors such as inflation, population shifts, widespread development and deterioration of properties, and changed use or significant use of commercial and industrial properties, have a continued impact upon the assessed value of real properties in the County of Beaver,” states the lawsuit. “It is believed and therefore averred that in the last several years Defendants have repeatedly been made aware of such major influences on real property values, and are aware that the current assessment methodology is so outdated, grossly inequitable, inaccurate and non-uniform that a comprehensive parcel-by-parcel reassessment of all real estate in Beaver County is long overdue and urgently needed at the present time.”
Betters alleges that county officials have violated their duties of office by failing to implement fair and equitable tax assessments.
CJ Betters is asking a judge to “enter a judgement […] against [County Officials] directing them to immediately commence a reassessment of the County of Beaver in accordance with the Consolidated County Assessment Law”; “Set a timetable for a countywide reassessment”; and award costs, counsel fees and witness fees for expenses resulting from the litigation.
Beaver County Solicitor Bernie Rabik declined comment about the litigation, telling the Beaver Countian he has not yet been served with a copy of the lawsuit.