House Republicans were forced to go to their backup plan last week, when HR1, the constitutional amendment to cap property assessments, failed by fifteen votes.  Plan B was HB 233 which places a two year moratorium on assessment increases but allows decreases in the values.  The freeze is effective January 1, 2009 to January 1, 2011. The bill also requires that every parcel of property be reassessed at least once during this period.  The intent is to ensure that all decreases in value are captured and no one is paying unnecessary taxes.  There were many questioning the legality of HB 233.  If this sort of action can be taken through statute — which requires only 91 votes in the House — then why are so many constitutional amendments of the same nature proposed, fought over, and lost for lack of 120 votes?  Legislators stated their intention to make a motion to reconsider both votes on Tuesday.  The legislature is out of session today for the President’s Day Holiday.