Harrisburg – April 25, 2018 – Legislation requiring assessors in Philadelphia’s Office of Property Assessments (OPA) be certified has cleared the Senate on a unanimous vote, according the proposal’s sponsor, Sen. Larry Farnese (D-Philadelphia).

“There simply is no reason that assessors in Philadelphia’s OPA should not be certified,” Farnese said.  “All assessors who work in the office should meet statewide standards and be certified.”

“Assessors in Philadelphia should be state certified and the law should be upgraded to ensure that the office complies.”

Farnese said he learned that Philadelphia was not included among other counties that require certification several years ago.  He originally introduced legislation in 2012 to bring Philadelphia’s office in line with the rest of the state. 

Philadelphia itself has since required certification, but this was not reflected in state law, leaving a portion of assessors that were not covered by the Philadelphia policy not required to comply with certification.

The senator said his bill (Senate Bill 384) gives any assessor who currently works in the office and is not certified three years to comply with state standards.  New hires would be required to be certified. 

“This is an upgrade in qualitative standards that will aid taxpayers in Philadelphia,” Farnese said.  “I am hopeful that the bill will be considered in the House before the end of June.”

Farnese said he worked with Rep. Curtis Thomas on the issue and he was grateful for his support. 

“Representative Thomas and I have pushed this issue together for years, so I thank him for his work on this issue.”