City fighting tax assessment appeals

The City of St. Marys plans to fight petitions from Metaldyne Sinterforged Products, LLC, which has filed appeals on its property tax assessments located in St. Marys and Ridgway.City Manager Dave Greene said the city is joining with the St. Marys Area School District and Elk County in fighting the petitions, which were filed with the Elk County Assessment Office, with a hearing on the issue scheduled with Judge Masson at a future date. The appeals apply to all taxes for 2012 and thereafter.At the hearings before the Board of Assessment Appeals on Oct. 4, Metaldyne presented appraisals which called for a more than 50 percent reduction in taxes. The board denied all of the requests."These appeals represent a substantial financial threat to the municipalities involved. In order to successfully defend against these appeals, or even to properly evaluate the appraisals which have been provided by Metaldyne, it is my recommendation that we obtain independent appraisals of each of the properties," said Elk County Solicitor Tom Wagner in an email to Elk County taxing bodies. "If we do not, we will be at very substantial risk of having Judge Masson granting the appeals and reducing the taxes on the Metaldyne properties by the amount Metaldyne has requested."The affected municipalities will discuss how they will share the cost of obtaining independent property appraisals. Council approved two Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance (LERTA) applications for Metco and Advanced Heat Treating, both based in St. Marys.