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February 2012 Archives

5 Assessment Appeal Success Stories

pillars-smooth.jpgProperty owners considering an assessment appeal want to know what their chances of success are. We can tell quickly and with high confidence whether your property is over-assessed. You can rely on our experience in real estate law to help lower your assessments. We have successfully represented property owners from all over Allegheny County, helping them to win lower assessed values and lower tax bills. Below are just five success stories from our firm's assessment appeal work.

Property 1: South Fayette

The first example client comes from South Fayette. We were able to lower this assessed value from $192,500 to $173,000, saving the owner over $600 per year in taxes.


Property 2: West View

This second property was located in West View, and the Kisner Law Firm fought to have the assessed value reduced by over $100,000, which saved the owner $3,440 in taxes every year.


Property 3: Pittsburgh

The owner of this third property received a post-appeal assessment that was less than one third of the original assessed value. That owner's tax bill was reduced by 71%, or $941 every year.


Property 4: Pittsburgh

The fourth property, also located in Pittsburgh, was originally assessed by Allegheny County at $361,000. After the property owner came to the Kisner Law Firm, we were able to reduce that value to just $175,000, which cut the owner's property tax bill in half from over $10,000 to barely over $5,000 per year.


Property 5: Pittsburgh

The last success story comes from a Pittsburgh property that was assessed at $175,000. We fought to reduce that value down to $82,500, which shaved off more than half of the annual property tax bill, saving the owner almost $3,000 per year.


We believe that clients of the Kisner Law Firm deserve aggressive representation from an attorney who can get the best results. In this area of law, the best results can mean immediate savings of hundreds or thousands of dollars per year in property taxes. The real estate assessment system in Allegheny County is in chaos this year, and thousands of property owners will pay too much in taxes unless they take the right steps to appeal their assessed values.

Allegheny County Assessments: March Notices

Thumbnail image for BW-SQ-City-County-Bldg.jpgMany thousands of Allegheny County property owners have already received notices of their new assessed values. Shocking increases in values have owners asking what it means for their taxes and what they can do about it. Thousands of appeals have already been filed, challenging the unfair tax assessments.

Only one final group remains to be notified. Residents in the northern areas of Allegheny County are asking where their notices are and when they will find out how their assessed property values are affected. The following municipalities should expect to see their new assessed values after they are mailed on March 2, 2012:

  • Aleppo Township
  • Aspinwall Borough
  • Avalon Borough
  • Bell Acres Borough
  • Bellevue Borough
  • Ben Avon Heights Borough
  • Ben Avon Borough
  • Blawnox Borough
  • Brackenridge Borough
  • Bradford Woods Borough
  • Cheswick Borough
  • Coraopolis Borough
  • Crescent Township
  • East Deer Township
  • Edgeworth Borough
  • Emsworth Borough
  • Etna Borough
  • Fawn Township
  • Findlay Township
  • Franklin Park Borough
  • Frazer Township
  • Fox Chapel Borough
  • Glenfield Borough
  • Glen Osbourne Borough
  • Hampton Township
  • Harmar Township
  • Harrison Township
  • Haysville Borough
  • Indiana Township
  • Ingram Borough
  • Kennedy Township
  • Kilbuck Township
  • Leet Township
  • Leetsdale Borough
  • Marshall Township
  • McCandless Township
  • McDonald Borough
  • McKees Rocks Township
  • Millvale Borough
  • Moon Township
  • Neville Township
  • North Fayette Township
  • Oakdale Borough
  • O'Hara Township
  • Ohio Township
  • Pennsbury Village
  • Pine Township
  • Reserve Township
  • Richland Township
  • Robinson Township
  • Ross Township
  • Sewickley Borough
  • Sewickley Heights Borough
  • Sewickley Hills Borough
  • Shaler Township
  • Sharpsburg Borough
  • Springdale Borough
  • Springdale Township
  • Stowe Township
  • Tarentum Borough
  • Thornburg Borough
  • West Deer Township
  • West View Borough

When you receive your new assessment in the mail, contact the Kisner Law Firm to determine if an appeal can save you money. Our success stories show how much money owners can save from fighting back against their assessed values. A successful appeal can mean hundreds or thousands of dollars in savings every year, making it worthwhile to hire an experienced real estate attorney.

Kim Kisner has been representing owners in real estate assessment appeals for years, helping them to reduce the assessed values of their homes and other properties. For a low flat fee, the Kisner Law Firm will represent you throughout the entire appeal process:

  • We will file a formal appeal
  • We will gather evidence that supports a lower assessed value
  • We will represent you at the hearing (you don't even need to come)
  • We will appeal to the next level, the Board of Viewers, if necessary to fight for a lower value

Allegheny County Assessments: February Notices

wall.jpgEarly this week, tens of thousands of residents in Allegheny County received their new property assessment notices. These assessed values, which are used to calculate the property taxes owed, increased dramatically for most homeowners, who now have big questions on their minds. Residents in the City of Pittsburgh and some other areas already received their notices in December or January. The last of the Allegheny County residents should expect to see their new assessment notices in early March.

Below is a list of the municipalities that received their notices this week:

  • Baldwin Borough
  • Baldwin Township
  • Bethel Park Borough
  • Brentwood Borough
  • Bridgeville Borough
  • Carnegie Borough
  • Castle Shannon Borough
  • Collier Township
  • Crafton Borough
  • Dormont Borough
  • Green Tree Borough
  • Heidelberg Borough
  • Homestead Borough
  • Jefferson Hills Borough
  • Mount Lebanon
  • Munhall Borough
  • Pleasant Hills Borough
  • Rosslyn Farms Borough
  • Scott Township
  • South Fayette Township
  • South Park Township
  • Upper St. Clair Township
  • West Elizabeth Borough
  • West Homestead Borough
  • West Mifflin Borough
  • Whitaker Borough
  • Whitehall Borough

Property owners who saw high increases or who think their assessed values are too high should file formal appeals to get their values reduced. The deadline for filing appeals is in early April, and thousands of Allegheny County homeowners have already filed appeals.

The Kisner Law Firm represents property owners through the formal appeal process. Our resources and experience allow us to work toward the best possible outcomes for our clients. For a low flat fee, we take care of the entire appeal process from beginning to end:

  • We file for a formal appeal
  • We gather evidence that supports a lower assessed value
  • We represent you at the hearing (you don't have to come)
  • We appeal to the next level, the Board of Viewers, if necessary to fight for a lower value

Although nobody can guarantee a particular result, in our experience, the vast majority of our clients are thrilled to see significant reductions in their assessed values. The reductions in their assessed values mean hundreds or thousands of dollars in savings every year, which makes hiring an experienced real estate attorney a good investment.

Property Tax Assessment Appeals

city-06-flip-300x137.jpgProperty owners in Allegheny County know that the property tax assessment system is chaotic. In 2012, owners are seeing their assessed values increase significantly, and many need an experienced real estate attorney to represent them through the appeals process to fight increased taxes.

Typical property owners really only have two questions on their minds: How much are my taxes going to go up, and what can I do about it?

How much are my taxes going to go up?

The exact amount of your tax increase is difficult to predict at this point. It is not necessarily true that if your assessed value increased that your property tax bill will increase. Pennsylvania law requires the millage rate to be adjusted to account for higher assessments. For City of Pittsburgh residents, the millage rate was .02981. So a property assessed at $100,000 owed $2,981 per year in taxes. The new millage rate has been unofficially predicted to be .0198, so now a property assessed at $100,000 would now owe $1,980, about $1,000 less per year.

But what if you owned a house that was assessed at $100,000 that was increased by 50% to $150,000? Using the old assessed value and the old millage rate, you owed $2,981 in taxes. Using your new assessed value and the predicted new millage rate, your taxes would be $2,970, virtually the same. So although most property owners saw their assessed values increase, their taxes may not go up at all, and may even go down.

Many owners saw their assessed values go up by much more than 50%, though, and they will see much higher tax bills when the new assessments go into effect in 2013 unless they do something about it.

What can I do about it?

For property owners who saw their assessed values increase by 50% or more, or any property owner whose assessed value exceeds the property's fair market value, the Kisner Law Firm can help. For a low flat fee, we will initiate a formal appeal, represent you at the hearing, and appeal the decision to the next level if necessary. Virtually all of our clients realize immediate tax savings in the hundreds or thousands of dollars, and the savings stack up every year that the lower tax bill comes in the mail.

Kim Kisner has been successfully representing Allegheny County and Pittsburgh property owners in real estate assessment appeals for years. Success in a real estate assessment appeal means real tax savings of hundreds or thousands of dollars. A great deal is at stake for anyone going through the appeal process, and in this economy, you should rely on an experienced real estate attorney for the best outcome.

Read more about the real estate services that the Kisner Law Firm provides.

Read more articles about Property Tax Assessment Appeals.

Business Start-Up

Chairs.jpgIncorporating is just the first step in starting a successful business. You need more than just the right paperwork to file. You need a trusted business attorney who can guide you through the entire process. We will help you and your business partners tailor your incorporation in a way that maximizes legal protections and minimizes taxes and liability exposure.

Many considerations affect how we advise our business clients to proceed with incorporation. Below are some of the questions we ask during the process.

First, we need to know about the business itself:

  • Does the business sell a product or provide a service?
  • What are the major transactions that are likely to arise?
  • What federal and state regulations apply specifically to these activities?

Next, we ask about the owners:

  • How many owners will their be?
  • What are their financial positions?
  • How will ownership, management, and financial responsibilities be divided?
  • How will profits be divided?
  • Are all owners active or are some passive investors?

The discussion about tax issues is one of the most important:

  • What is the best strategy to minimize tax liability?
  • Should we file for an s-election with the IRS?

We then move on to discuss more specific issues, like insurance:

  • How much business insurance is needed?
  • What other types of insurance are needed to protect the company?
  • Will the company pay for health or life insurance for the owners?

Next, we discuss possible employees:

  • How many employees will the business have?
  • Will any of the owners be employees also?

Last, we talk about the long-term goals of the business:

  • Where do you see the business in 5 years, in 10 years?
  • What legal issues will arise between now and then?

Our incorporation meetings are always enjoyable because we can learn so much. We become experts in our clients' businesses so we can assist them when legal issues arise, and we teach our clients the most important things they need to know about the legal side of incorporation.

Read more about the business law services that the Kisner Law Firm provides.

Employment Litigation

Disputes between small businesses and employees involve high stakes for all parties. The Kisner Law Firm is experienced in representing both employers and employees when problems arise. Although we generally try to keep our employer clients from becoming involved in litigation, we are prepared to fight hard and work efficiently when litigation is necessary.

We help employers conduct a thorough investigation into the claim by interviewing potential witnesses, reviewing documentation, and compiling relevant electronically stored information. Then we meet with the managers or owners of the employer to craft an overall legal strategy that will best serve their needs.

Most employment actions filed end up being dismissed or settled for a reasonable amount if the employer is represented well. It can take months to get through the initial procedural steps and initial discovery before the parties are able to begin discussing settlement. Some cases never settle, and the Kisner Law Firm represents employers all the way through trial if necessary.

Read more about the employment law services that the Kisner Law Firm provides.

Office Location

Kisner Law Firm, LLC
Gulf Tower
707 Grant St., Suite 2646
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Map and Directions

Phone: 412-880-5605
Fax: 412-235-6704

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