Belle Vernon Area schools want tax value of Monongahela Valley Healthplex to reflect current market
The Belle Vernon Area School District wants a Westmoreland County judge to increase the assessed value of a Rostraver medical complex sold last year to a Washington County hospital.
In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, the school district contends the Monongahela Valley Healthplex facility on Plaza Drive, should be valued at $13.75 million, the price it sold for in 2017.
The county’s assessment appeals board already rejected the district’s effort to have the property revalued. According to court records, the property has an assessed value of more than $1.4 million, which translates to a fair market value of $8.7 million.
The county uses cost of construction figures from 1972 to determine assessed values for properties. Those assessments for the 2019 tax year are 16.3 percent of a property’s fair market value.
Attorneys for the school district argued the sale price as well as the hospital’s own appraisal of the property’s value indicate the county’s assessment is too low. The hospital, at an appeal hearing in September, claimed the fair market value of the facility is $10.5 million.
Hospital officials could not be reached for comment.
The lawsuit, if successful, could increase the tax bill for the property. According to county property records, the hospital now pays more than $164,000 in local, county and school taxes. The largest piece of that tax bill, at nearly $113,000, is paid to the school district.
In its lawsuit, the school district said the property’s assessed value should at least equal the hospital’s own appraisal and could be as high as the sale price.
“The district is in the process of obtaining an independent appraisal of the Healthplex and will share that information with this honorable court and all parties involved once obtained,” said school district lawyers M. Janet Burkardt and Victor Kustra.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293 or [email protected]