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Assessing Your Reassessment - Allegheny County Assessment Appeals

BW-RE-SQ-300x300.jpgMillions of Americans spent Presidents' Day weekend working on their 2014 federal income taxes. Although many taxpayers painstakingly review their income tax returns to avail themselves of any lawful deduction, homeowners often forget to take stock of their real estate tax liability. Thousands of Allegheny County property owners will have the misfortune of being on the receiving end of a bloated property tax bill. Even though 130,000-plus Allegheny County assessment appeals were filed as a result of the 2012 countywide reassessment, thousands of properties remain over-assessed. Some school districts and municipalities have elected to freeze millage rates, but many are increasing 2014 millage rates. Whether the increases are the result of successful homeowner appeals or another revenue-generating directive, millage rate increases mean that real estate tax bills will increase.

Property valuation is not an exact science. Your assessment could be very different from your neighbor's based on the size and age of your home and the date of purchase. At Kisner Law Firm, we have the tools to assess your home's value and the experience to fight for a fair property assessment on your behalf.

The deadline for filing Allegheny County property assessment appeals is March 31, 2014, which is about two weeks before you have to answer to Uncle Sam. When it comes real estate taxes, don't leave money on the table. If you're considering filing an appeal of your property value, contact the Kisner Law Firm for a free consultation.

Attorney Kim Kisner quoted in Tribune Review

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Kisner Law Firm's founding attorney Kim Kisner was recently quoted in the Tribune Review regarding the wait time for property assessments appeals. "The first round of appeals took four or five months to come up, but I don't expect that with the second round because the volume is less. I'm telling my clients it's likely to be about three months."

If you have filed an appeal and are one of the 15,000 or more property owners waiting for your formal hearing or one of the 1,000 or so property owners still waiting for a hearing with the Board of Property Assessment Appeals and Reviews, Kisner Law Firm can help.

The Kisner Law Firm

The attorneys at the Kisner Law Firm have helped hundreds of property owners in Allegheny County reduce their property assessments. For a single flat fee, we pledge to fight for you through the administrative appeal process and even to the state court system to get the best possible result. We are happy to discuss your case with you personally to help you understand the process and to help you make an informed decision about filing an appeal. If retained to represent you, we will use professional-level real estate tools to analyze your property, prepare a strong body of evidence for your appeal, and represent you at your hearing. Contact the Kisner Law Firm today for representation at an upcoming hearing. We request at least one week notice so we can fully prepare.

The full Tribune Review article can be accessed at http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/3838841-74/appeals-filed-assessment#ixzz2QpNf4tnZ

Only days left until property assessment appeal deadline

Thumbnail image for BW-SQ-City-County-Bldg.jpgThe last day for Allegheny County property owners to appeal the new assessed values is Monday, April 1-only days away. A year ago, it looked like the owners would not be able to file any appeals early in 2013. But earlier this year, the county changed the law, allowing everyone a second chance to fight their assessments.

Tax bills are being sent out now all over Allegheny County, and property owners are starting to see how significant the increases are as a result of the county-wide reassessment. Assessments for some properties increased by 50%, 100%, or even more. These staggering increases put pressure on homeowners struggling to meet the additional tax burden.

Even owners who tried unsuccessfully to appeal last year are eligible to file a new appeal this year. Thousands of owners filed informal or formal appeals in 2012 but were not able to obtain any reduction. Some just gave up because the process seemed to difficult or daunting.

If your assessment is too high, you need to contact an experienced real estate attorney on your side to help you fight it.

The Kisner Law Firm

The attorneys at the Kisner Law Firm have helped hundreds of property owners in Allegheny County reduce their property assessments. For a single flat fee, we pledge to fight for you through the administrative appeal process and even to the state court system to get the best possible result. We are happy to discuss your case with you personally to help you understand the process and to help you make an informed decision about filing an appeal.

Contact one of our attorneys today by calling (412) 208-4263
or by sending us an email.

Our clients appreciate the personal service they get from our attorneys as we help guide them through the appeal process with hundreds of dollars in tax savings at stake.

Filing deadline

Remember, the deadline to file an appeal of your 2013 property assessment is Monday, April 1.

New avenues for appealing property assessments

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Allegheny County property owners have new options to appeal property assessment increases due to recent developments. The deadline to file a new 2013 appeal will be extended from April 2, 2012 to April 1, 2013. Additional proposed legislative reforms and a recent lawsuit may also cause changes to the appeals process and decisions. This comes as very good news for property owners all over Allegheny County who are unhappy with the results of the 2013 court-ordered reassessment.

New appeals can be filed in 2013

Property owners will now have the opportunity to file new appeals for their property assessments this year. The Allegheny County Council approved a law that allows appeals for the 2013 tax year to be filed through April 1, 2013. Without this new law, property owners would have had to wait until 2014 to file an appeal for the tax year 2014.

Millage rate reductions across Allegheny County

The city of Pittsburgh announced a 30% reduction in tax millage for city residents. The city's mayor also introduced legislation which would increase exemptions and credits, particularly for senior citizens. Increases for the Homestead and Farmstead Exemptions from $15,000 to $18,000 were approved by the County Council on February 5, 2013.

Although these reductions are a step in the right direction, suburban property owners who saw their assessments increase by more than 30% will likely see a higher tax bill this year. Commercial assessments are not complete in many areas and this makes it difficult to determine how much millage rates must be reduced in order to prevent property owner's tax bills from increasing.

Increased weight for certified appraisals

There may also be relief available for those property owners who used certified appraisals in their appeals to the BPAAR. Many citizens complained that they were advised by the county to order certified appraisals for their assessment appeals, but the appraisals were disregarded by BPAAR.

In response to these complaints, the County Council has proposed a new law to require BPAAR to presume that recent appraisals conducted by certified appraisers establish the value of the property in the appraising year, unless there is suspicion of error or fraud. The proposed new law also allows the Board to adjust the value for changes that might occur between the appraisal year and the base year that would affect valuation. These proposed ordinance reforms are currently in Committee.

Class action lawsuit over certified appraisals

Eleven property owners who submitted appraisals as evidence and received unfavorable decisions filed a class action lawsuit against BPAAR). The property owners are asking the court to rule that certified appraisals must be accepted to prove value unless there is a conflicting appraisal. They are also asking that the hearing officers' reports be automatically shared with property owners appealing their assessments. This case will continue through the court system and a final disposition may not come for several months.

Kisner Law Firm

For more than one decade, the Kisner Law Firm has assisted hundreds of property owners in reducing their real estate taxes. Whether you have already appealed your assessment and are moving onto the next level of appeal or would like to file a new appeal before the April 1, 2013 deadline, we are ready to step in and represent you to give you the best chance of reducing your assessed value. We are happy to provide you with a free evaluation of your case. If retained to represent you, we will use professional-level real estate tools to analyze your property, prepare a strong body of evidence for your appeal, and represent you at your hearing. Our reasonable flat fee allows you to determine the cost-effectiveness of hiring legal counsel to advocate on your behalf to lower your real estate taxes. Contact the Kisner Law Firm today for assistance in the assessment appeal process or for representation at an upcoming hearing. We request at least one week notice so we can fully prepare.

Informal Appeal Results Good for Some, Others Need Formal Hearings

Thumbnail image for BW-SQ-City-County-Bldg.jpgEarlier this week, Allegheny County mailed the last informal appeal results. It has been reported that about half of the informal appeals resulted in value changes. This may appear to be a very positive result for a lot of people, but there are two counter-points. First, that means at least 1 out of 2 property owners who filed an informal appeal did not get any reduction at all. Second, many of these changes were only small reductions, which means those property owners are still facing substantial tax increases. Some properties, around 3%, even saw an increase in their assessed value.

Fortunately, property owners who are not pleased with their informal appeal results can file formal appeals and take the fight to the next level. Whether you are a property owner who saw no change in property value, an increase in property value, or only a nominal decrease in value, a special appeal may represent the best opportunity to effectively dispute your reassessment. Whether you have already filed a formal appeal, received unfavorable informal results, or missed the April 2nd deadline and would like to file a late appeal, the Kisner Law Firm can help you.

Presenting Your Best Case

The Kisner Law Firm is already representing hundreds of owners across Allegheny County. Our firm uses professional-level real estate analytical tools. We use multiple databases including a real estate database powered by RealSTATs that allows us to analyze any property in Allegheny County by looking at the statistical information and comparable sales data. Our techniques and tools allow us to present the best possible case at your appeal.

Filing A Late Formal Appeal

While the deadline to file an appeal for the 2013 reassessed values has already passed, it may not be too late to get your appeal filed. In late August, Judge R. Stanton Wettick is hearing Motions to file late appeals. Following the procedures prescribed by the County, Kisner Law Firm can step in immediately on your behalf and represent your interests before both Judge Wettick and the Review Board. The experience and professional services offered by Kisner Law Firm can greatly increase the likelihood that your late appeal will be accepted. Don't miss out on the last opportunity of the year to save yourself hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, in real estate taxes..

The Kisner Law Firm

The Kisner Law Firm can step in at any time to provide representation, even if you have already had your formal hearing. When the hearing date or court date (for Board of Viewer appeals) arrives, you don't even need to attend. For a low flat fee, we will take care of everything for you at the formal hearing and even at the Board of Viewers (if necessary). We need at least one week notice so we can fully prepare. The Kisner Law Firm can provide you with a free evaluation of your case and the kind of evidence we can put together for your appeal. Contact the Kisner Law Firm today for an evaluation of your case so you can win the fight to lower your real estate taxes.

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