Paying real estate taxes is one of the unpleasant parts of owning real estate. No one enjoys it, but it can’t be avoided. That said, 2023 looks like a very good time to appeal your property assessment taxes in Allegheny County. Thanks to a bill recently passed by Allegheny County Council, residents can file an appeal to get property tax relief for 2022 and 2023. The filing period continues through March 31, 2023. Here’s how Steidl & Steinberg can help.
People buying a home in Allegheny County over the past few years were shocked when they received a notice the school district they live in had appealed their property’s assessed value. Not knowing how to respond, they found their taxes had risen sharply after the appeal hearing. They knew the housing boom had raised home values but weren’t aware their property taxes would rapidly increase. The sharp rise in property tax assessed value prompted a lawsuit by nine property owners that remains on appeal in Commonwealth Court. It also caught the attention of Allegheny County Council, which recently approved a measure to allow property owners to file an appeal of their 2022 property taxes using a reduced common level ratio. This ratio change can bring significant tax savings for property owners.
Common level ratio drops
A formula called a common level ratio is used to calculate a property’s taxable value. It is a calculation used in appeals to account for the differences between assessed values and current sale prices since the last reassessment in Allegheny County in 2012.
Allegheny County property assessment special appeals filed in 2023 for 2022 and 2023 taxes will be based on a common level ratio that has been set at 63.53% . That’s a dramatic drop from the 81.1% CLR used previously.
What does that mean for you? It means the possibility of significant tax savings. Let’s use a house that has a fair market value of $100,000 that has been appealed. Using the 2022 ratio of 81.1%, the property would be taxed at a value of $81,100. With the new county council ordered CLR 63.53% ratio, that house would be taxed at a value of $63,530. That would be a huge tax savings for the home owner.
Real estate experts in Allegheny County believe there could be a large number of property assessment appeals filed through March 31, 2023, not just for residential properties, but also for commercial building owners looking to lower their taxes. The results of the 2022 appeals will also carry over through 2023. This is your chance to pay your fair share of property taxes and not a penny more.
Status of citizens lawsuit
The momentum to address over assessed properties was generated by a lawsuit filed by nine Allegheny County residents to reduce the common level ratio. Judge Alan Hertzberg found in favor of the plaintiffs but the Pittsburgh School District has appealed the judge’s decision to Commonwealth Court. Judge Hertzberg, in his decision, set the common level ratio for a 2022 special appeal filing period at 63.53% but arguments in the appeal aren’t going to be heard until April, 2023.
Allegheny Council President Patrick Catena introduced legislation in response to the Pittsburgh School District appeal that would give property owners until March 31, 2023 to appeal their 2022 assessments. This special appeal period would be based on a common level ratio of 63.53%, the number ordered by Judge Hertzberg, as opposed to the 81.1% used in previous appeal hearings. The decisions on special 2022 appeals will carry over through 2023.
We will file your appeal and attend the hearing
Steidl & Steinberg will discuss the case with you and consult a licensed appraiser for a free evaluation of your property. We will file the assessment appeal and you will not need to participate in or attend any assessment hearing. We will present your evidence and represent your interests.
Property owners need to remember that property assessment appeals may be filed every year in every county in Pennsylvania.