Forks Supervisors Reject Tax Appeal for Riverview Estates

Forks Township officials disagree about paying Riverview Estates, developed by Gary Strausser, $3,325 from a tax reassessment.


The county may have agreed that should receive a tax assessment reimbursement. But the does not.

The supervisors at their meeting last Thursday night rejected a tax assessment appeal stipulation that would have paid Riverview Estates $3,325.

Solicitor Karl Kline told the board that Northampton County had agreed that Riverview Estates was overtaxed on six parcels in Forks Township.

"It's really a numbers game, an assessment game," Kline said. "The county and school district will lose more on the appeal than the township. They are agreeable. My recommendation is to approve it."

That recommendation didn't fly with supervisors.

Supervisors David Billings, Robert Egolf and John O'Neil all voted "no," defeating the motion 3-2.

"Historically, we approve," Egolf said. "I don't recall in my tenure that we haven't. I think things, though, are rapidly changing in the financial landscape."

Billings objected as well.

"We're talking a lot more than $300," he said. "We're talking more than $3,000."

Kline said the settlement amount did not seem out of line.

Supervisors Chairman Erik Chuss asked Kline "so where do we go from here?"

Kline said he would have to notify the county that the settlement wasn't acceptable.

Following the meeting, Kline clarified the board's position in an email early Friday.

Kline said at the end of the meeting that the board voted unanimously to suspend any action on the tax assessment appeal stipulation in order to obtain additional information concerning the tax assessment appeal and the general appeal process.

He said the board would consider this additional information and will vote on the tax assessment stipulation at the June 21 meeting.

"The members realized that perhaps they made their decision without complete information about the particular tax assessment appeal and the tax assessment appeal law and procedures in general," Kline said. "The board will reevaluate the initial action it took. As I had indicated, if an appraisal proves that a taxpayer's property value has dropped significantly, then the taxpayer is entitled to a reduction in the tax assessment for the property."

Periscope June 12, 2012 at 04:56 AM
My complements to the Patch for covering supervisors meetings. I do check agendas on line and usually see that nothing of real importance is to be discussed. But the Patch covers it any way. This real state tax appeal they voted to reject shows me that Billings, Egolf and O Neal have no support for homeowners who want to reduce their property taxes by reassessment because of the huge drop in home values. The county and school district agree with this particular taxpayer’s lower assessment but not these three. Forks has the smallest tax amount at stake and they don't want to give it up even if the tax appraisal was correct. Billings voting with the majority is willing to spent legal fees, appraisal costs and court expanses to beat down this taxpayer and any other tax payer who dares to do thr same. Forks will lose this battle.. Everyone in this township has suffered a decline in the value of their home, some more than others. If you suffered more than others, usually because you bought your home at the top of the market, these three supervisors want to reject your right to prove the lower value and get some tax relief. Shame on them. Fight back and they will change their minds. They had all the facts. They just ignored them because they are tax greedy.
Dino Ciliberti June 12, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Hi, thanks for your note. I'm the new editor and I'll be at every supervisors meeting. Same with Palmer. Something will usually come up. They're going to discuss again at June 21 meeting, will probably reconsider.


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