(HARRISBURG) – – Two bills authored by Sen. John R. Gordner (R-27) that eliminate obsolete and unnecessary functions of local government and clarify assessment and taxation of wind generation equipment have been signed into law by Governor Ed Rendell. Senate Bills 513 and 514 received unanimous approval by the Senate and the House during the recently completed legislative session.
The legislation eliminates the elected office of assessor in second class townships, according to the Senator. “The law requires counties to perform assessment functions, so it made little sense to elect assessors in every municipality,” said the Senator. “In most cases, there were no candidates for the positions.”
By eliminating the locally-elected position, counties will save money in ballot printing costs, election certification procedures and other duties associated with locally elected positions. Locally elected assessors were eliminated in other classes of municipalities in Pennsylvania through previously enacted legislation.
Senator Gordner’s legislation also clarified the law relating to assessment of wind generation equipment. “Wind generation is an exciting new industry in Pennsylvania with potential to help alleviate our dependence upon traditional energy sources, such as oil. Unfortunately, the lack of a uniform system to assess these structures caused differing systems to be enacted in several counties,” said Senator Gordner. “By enacting a uniform assessment across the Commonwealth, counties and wind generating entities will all be on the same page and potential litigation can be avoided.”
Senator Gordner worked with the Association of Township Supervisors, County Commissioners Association and wind industry officials in formulating the legislation.