Tax appeals

Dear editor:

I first read “tax appeals” in the Warren County Guide where it appeared as a full page “letter” to Commissioner Bortz and the voting public urging them to put pressure on Commissioners Eggleston and Vanco to reverse their decision to file a lawsuit challenging the tax exempt status of Warren General Hospital (and other non-profit entities) and if those two rogue Commissioners don’t comply vote them out of office at the next election.

As a resident of Warren County, I am one of the public this “letter” intends to educate about the importance of putting the tax revocation issue to public vote.

Perhaps the letter writers are not fully aware of tax appeal procedure and the past schedule of events. Jacob Perryman wrote an excellent article in the Warren Times Observer on April 10, 2013 titled “Tax board files case” outlining just that. Let’s review the facts stated in that article:

– Warren General Hospital was notified of the tax reassessment sometime prior its submission of an information letter to the Tax Assessment Board on February 20, 2012;

– Warren General Hospital filed an application for tax exemption on August 30, 2012;

-Warren General Hospital submitted a brief giving their reasons why they should remain tax exempt for an October 22, 2012 hearing; and

– Warren General Hospital submitted testimony at the October 22, 2012 hearing.

– On December 31, 2012 Warren General Hospital was notified by the Warren County Tax Assessment Board of Appeals that it’s appeal was denied and it is subject to property taxes.

-The Warren County Tax Assessment Board of Appeals has filed a Finding of Facts. The board’s findings outlined 17 points documenting how Warren General Hospital failed to meet the five Hospital Utilization Project (HUP) requirements necessary for property tax exemption as a “purely public charity” in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

In a tax assessment appeal the appellant, in this case, Warren General Hospital, has the burden of presenting evidence before the Tax Assessment Appeal Board in order to substantiate their position and rebut the tax assessment being contested, not the court of public opinion as this letter suggests.

Respectfully submitted,

Pauline Steinmeyer