Tax Assessment Information and Appraisal Tips
Major Data Flaw Found In Certain Style Homes Within Allegheny County Assessment Process That Could Unnecessarily RAISE YOUR TAXES and/or Give The Taxing Bodies An Unfair Advantage!!
Some of the best Tax Assessment Information available is the quote for the Allegheny County Treasurer. “The best way to win an assessment appeal hearing is with a certified appraisal. ” — John Weinstein, Allegheny County Treasurer – Source: KDKA Apr.26, 2002 6:06 pm
As our region slowly goes through the weary re-assessment process County by County, we will be adding information on each County as the process is completed and information becomes available.
Below is some tax assessment information that you will find useful in the years to come. Our tax assessment information is in-depth and can be found on multiple pages. Links to additional pages of tax assessment information can be found below.
TIP: If and when you decide to have an appraisal performed on your property to appeal your tax assessment, make sure you give yourself and the appraiser enough time to make an appointment with you and also prepare the appraisal report. With the 30-40 year low in interest rates coupled with the high-volume of Allegheny County assessment appeals, you don’t want to find that you can’t find an appraiser. Once you receive the notice from the County the hearing is already scheduled. Historically this is only approximately a 1-2 week advanced notice.
Hire an appraiser PRIOR to you being notified of a hearing date to ensure your appeal will go smoothly and you will not run into a worst case scenario, your appeal being dismissed due to the lack of information needed to fight your assessment!
Note: The courts have deemed that “Base Year” assessment values (Retrospective Appraisal Reports) in the Sate of Pennsylvania are no longer a valid form of assessment and that all values for assessment purposes be current value. While this can be a double-edged sword, due to the current downturn in property values since the certified values, this in fact, is can benefit the property owner significantly.
UPDATE: Allegheny County has instituted a re-assessment in 2012 for all properties. For assessment purposes, it appears things have changed again. Currently, a ‘Homeowner’ now has 2 options for evidence when appealing their assessment. You can NOW obtain a 2012 Base Year RETROSPECTIVE appraisal for an assessment appeal OR it MAY be current value. The difference being if your property has increased or decreased since 01/01/2012. If the property has increased in value then it would be recommended a base year appraisal being obtained. If the value has decreased (and in some instances no fault of your own) since 2012 then it would be best to obtain an appraisal at current value.
According to Allegheny County Office of Property Assessment, all residential appeals will have a 14-day window and commercial appeals a 30-day window. These dates are usually from when the notice is mailed which lessens the time period for the property owner. Generally, an appraiser may not have enough time to complete a report within this time frame due to previous commitments to other clients (lenders) and possibly weekends.
This is why it is advisable if you are going to appeal your property assessment in the upcoming year to have the appraisal completed well enough in advance. This way you will have the documentation available at your hearing.
(UPDATE): Some neighborhoods have declined in value over the last couple of years and are still declining due to the downturn in our National Economy. If you feel your home is worth less today than it was worth 1 or 2 years ago, you may want to consider appealing your assessment. Properties that have dropped in value below the 2012 reassessment value and more importantly if the County’s comparables are 1-2 years old (2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011 sales), you may want to consider appealing your assessment.
Information to date:
Should I appeal my tax assessment?
Additional Allegheny County Assessment Information
Below are links to the property search page of regional County assessment offices.
You can find additional information from these starting points.
Allegheny County property search
Fayette County property search
Lawrence County property search
Somerset County property search
Washington County property search
Westmoreland County property search