SCRANTON, Pa. -- It's been more than 50 years since Lackawanna County reassessed property taxes. County commissioners' most recent attempt to get it done has stalled.
Now, Scranton's mayor is trying to convince them to take it up again or the city could take legal action.
During November's election, Lackawanna County asked voters whether or not it should do a property tax reassessment, but the vote was deemed null and void after a judge said the wording was too confusing.
The mayor of Scranton doesn't want to let the effort die there.
Scranton's mayor and members of city council sat down with Lackawanna County commissioners to ask them to do something that hasn't been done since the 1960s -- a countywide property tax reassessment.
Mayor Bill Courtright and the councilmen think reassessment is necessary to make property taxes fairer in the city and to encourage new development.
And they say if the county can't be convinced, they may have to sue.
"I'm hopeful. I think at this point in time, we're still better going through meetings and discussions than going with the legal option, but it's certainly something on the table," said Scranton council member Pat Rogan. "We have to try to push to convince the commissioners to see it our way and to go for a reassessment."
Therefore, this likely won't be the last city-county sit down.
"I don't relish the thought of any government entity suing another government entity. That's why I asked for this meeting today so we can sit down and discuss it, and see if we can't figure out something that's fair for all concerned," said Scranton Mayor Bill Courtright.
Scranton would have to convince three county commissioners who have three different stances on the issue.
Commissioner Jerry Notarianni strongly supports reassessment.
"We have to do something to change. We've been doing the same thing over and over and over again, and it hasn't gotten any better. We have to change something. We have to get going in the right direction, and I don't think we are," said Commissioner Notarianni.
Commissioner Pat O'Malley came out against reassessment after voters unofficially said no in November, and Commissioner Laureen Cummings says the referendum, even though it didn't count, should settle the issue. She is against a reassessment.
"They knew exactly what they were voting for and, you know, I had informational sessions and people didn't attend, so they know what they're talking about. The people are not dumb. They know exactly what's happening," said Commissioner Cummings.
Scranton's mayor says the next step is for the city to use Lackawanna County's information on reassessment to do its own study. They hope the information will point to the positives of a county-wide property tax reassessment.