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Allegheny County Property Tax Assessment Guide

Monday, October 10th, 2011

The most recent downturn in the US real estate market, has resulted in a severe reduction in the value of real estate nationwide. Real estate taxes are tied to the property valuation and this has created both a dilemma and an opportunity. Since counties across the United States depend on revenues from real estate taxes to run county government, reductions in values create a serious dilemma for those governments. At a time when they need more money for social services, they have less revenue.

The flip side of that dilemma is the opportunity it presents for a homeowner to reduce their property taxes by appealing their previous assessments and reducing their home value.

The process of reducing one’s is a relatively simple process. The homeowner can file an appeal through the Office of Property Assessments. Once the appeal is filed, the Board of Property Assessment Appeals and Review and the Board of Viewers hears the appeal and makes the decision to change the assessed value.

The process for filing appeals includes two (2) different types of appeal. Each has its own forms.

1. Annual Assessment Appeal Form – This is to be used if you believe the assessed value of the property to be inaccurate. It can be obtained in person at the County Office Building or online at the property appeals forms web page. Check for the filing deadline. Once you file your appeal, you will receive notification, by mail, of the date, time and place of the hearing. This is approximately 14 days prior to the hearing for all residential properties and approximately 30 days’ prior for all commercial properties.

2. Special Appeal Form – This is to be used if you received a notice of assessment change from the Office of Property Assessments. If you wish to contest the , this form must filed within thirty (30) days from the official mail date of the notice. You will also receive notice of a hearing on a special appeal. However, the board has 6 months to hear that appeal.

With respect to your hearing, you must bring evidence top support your claim that the property tax is too high and that you are entitled to a home value reduction. Your proof must relate back to the County’s base year which was 2002.

At your hearing, you will need to provide data on the value of your property. Luckily, the internet makes it possible for you to research similar homes in your neighborhood and find sales of similar properties that sold recently in your area. You then need to do a similar search for data relating to the current home value. Showing that the home value has fallen should result in your appeal for a reduction in your real property assessment and thus a reduction in your property taxes.

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