Property owners in the City of Pittsburgh and the Borough of Mount Oliver have already started receiving their 2012 reassessment notices. In many cases, assessments have increased over 100% from their previous values.
If you are unhappy with your reassessment value, your best bet may be to file an appeal. Property owners have the option of requesting an informal review or a formal appeal. The Allegheny County Assessment website includes links to an online scheduling site for informal reviews and copies of paper forms for formal appeals. Some people have reported difficulty in recent days accessing the site for informal reviews – most likely due to the increase in site traffic. You can also request an informal review by calling the telephone number listed on the county’s website. The link to the assessment website is:
There are very short deadlines for requesting an informal review or a formal appeal, so you should make sure that you build enough time into the process to meet the required deadlines.
Municipalities and school districts are required by statute to adjust their millage rates so that the new property assessments do not result in greater than a 5% windfall to the taxing bodies. However, this adjustment will take place in the aggregate and will not address the details of any specific property. Therefore, your assessment could still result in a tax increase even after millage rates are adjusted.
You should also note that, even if you are successful in reducing your assessment at the Board of Appeals level, both your municipality and your school district have the right to appeal your assessment to the Court of Common Pleas. School districts pay close attention to revised assessments, as the bulk of the property taxes paid on any particular property go to fund the local school district.
The assessment process is a complicated one, with the City of Pittsburgh and Mount Oliver likely serving as a prelude for suburban reassessments, which are expected in the spring.
The bottom line is that you need to act quickly if you are interested in appealing your assessment.