Clarion County Clarifies "Sanctuary City" Label

County clarifies ‘sanctuary’

By Brett R. Whitling
 CLARION NEWS Writer

CLARION - The Clarion County Prison Board of Inspectors may finally have solved the issue of Clarion County being mistaken for a “sanctuary” county.

“It’s my position that the passage of this policy would make it abundantly clear that Clarion County really never was and clearly at this point is not a sanctuary county,” said Clarion County District Attorney Mark Aaron. “It may take the Internet and social media time to catch up to that realization.”

The board is aware that the original Internet-based map showing Clarion as a sanctuary county will always be available online and won’t go away. The county was originally listed as a sanctuary county due to an ordinance adopted in 2014 stating the county will not hold an illegal immigrant based solely on a request to do so from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The policy was not aimed at allowing illegal immigrants to pass freely through Clarion County but instead aimed at preventing potential lawsuits against the county for illegal detainment. The policy stated the county would not hold anyone on a simple request to do so from ICE due to the liability of holding the inmate.

The newly accepted policy will be an appendix to the original policy. It states, “It shall be in the policy of Clarion County Corrections to fully cooperate with (ICE) permitted by law and outlined in this policy. Clarion County Corrections will notify the Department of Homeland Security as early as (possible) before the alien is released from custody by calling either ICE or U.S. Customs and Border Protection as requested (by DHS)…”

Clarion County Jail Warden Jeff Hornberger said, “We don’t get many illegal immigrants unless they have local charges. On average we get two or three per year.”

If the jail does hold an illegal immigrant, Hornberger said they are usually held for 24 hours before U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service arrives to get them. The inmates are then transported to either York County or Pittsburgh which are approved INS holding facilities.

Aaron said if they do have charges in Clarion, they will stay here until they are cleared and then be transported by INS.

Assessment Frequently Asked Questions

 

1.  What is the year of your last re-assessment?

     1975

 

2.  What is the Assessment Ratio of Clarion County?

     100%

 

3.  What is the Assessment Ratio?

     The assessment ratio is the percentage of market value used to

     compute the assessment.

 

4.  What is Actual Market Value?

     The Courts of Pennsylvania have held that with respect to real 

     estate tax assessments, "Market Value" of real estate is the 

     price which the Purchaser, willing, but not obligated to buy,

     would pay the Owner, willing, but not obligated to sell, taking

     into consideration the highest and best use of the property.

 

5.  How are assessments computed?

     The Clarion County Assessment Office determines the actual 

     market value (of 1975) and multiplies this figure by 100% to 

     obtain the assessed value.  Your Market Value is based on a 

     1975 value, the date of the last County Re-evaluation Program.

 

6.  Does the County Assessment Office set taxes?

     NO!  The assessment Office only establishes the property 

     assessment.  The various taxing bodies set the millage and 

     collect their own tax.

 

7.  What is meant by the term "millage"?

     A term commonly used to express the property tax derived 

     from the word "mill", expressed in decimal one mill equals 

     $.001.  In computing taxes, it is used in this formula

     Assessed Value x Millage = Property Tax

     Example:  A property assessed or valued at $22,305 multiplied

     by the millage rate of .022 equals $490.71 in taxes.

 

8.  Who sets the millage rate?

     The County Commissioners set it for the County, the Borough

     Council sets it for the Borough, the Township Supervisors set

     it for the Township, and the School Board sets it for the School

     Districts.

 

9.  What is the responibility of the Assessment Office?

     The County Assessment Office, in addition to maintaining 

     assessment records and tax maps, is to see to it that all

     properties are assessed in a uniform and equitable manner.

 

10.  If my assessment is changed, am I notified?

       Yes, if the assessment office changes your assessment, you 

       are notified at your last known address.         

 

11.  If I feel I am over assessed what can I do about it?

       You must file a written intention to appeal on forms available

       at the assessment office or on the County Website.