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How can I challenge my property assessment?

Every aspect of home ownership represents a significant investment. For many homeowners, it is a positive sign to see the value of their home continue to grow for years after the purchase. However, an incorrect or unfair valuation of property can be expensive for property owners. Incorrect tax assessments are, unfortunately, quite common for homeowners. Luckily, most assessors allow homeowners the opportunity to present their case against the assessment. However, if they are unsuccessful, they may need the help of an attorney.

When a homeowner challenges the tax assessment of their property, they typically begin with a plea to the assessor for reconsideration. Homeowners must request a change to the evaluation based on actual evidence and not simply a complaint. Homeowners may use any record that is pertinent to their case when requesting reconsideration.

The homeowners may also wish to begin their investigation by scrutinizing the original property assessment. Occasionally, assessors accidentally make errors when listing the number of bedrooms or bathrooms in a property. They may also accidentally miscalculate the property tax by using an incorrect taxing authority. Although these errors are not common, they can make a significant difference in valuation and tax.

Homeowners may help present their case to assessors by providing the correct information and offering comparison properties. Providing an assessor with recently sold properties that are similar in size, age and condition is relatively easy to do. Home sales are public record and can be obtained by a simple search.

When homeowners wish to challenge the assessment of their property, they can begin by stating their case and providing assessors with supporting evidence. In the event they are unsuccessful, they may need to take their concerns to a real estate law attorney. With their help, homeowners may be able to successfully challenge an assessor's property tax valuation.

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Kisner Law Firm, LLC
Gulf Tower
707 Grant St., Suite 2646
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
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Phone: 412-880-5605
Fax: 412-235-6704

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