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Update to: Recent Developments Regarding Allegheny County Property Tax Appeals

by , | Jul 10, 2024 | Real Estate Practice | 0 comments

Written by Bradley S. Dornish, Esq. with Olivia Mark

Allegheny County Council enacted an ordinance making the deadline for filing an Allegheny County property tax appeals sooner. The prior appeals deadline was March 31 of the tax year being appealed. The deadline has been changed to October 1, 2024 of the year before the tax year being appealed, and will come into effect for the 2025 tax year. For the 2026 tax year and all tax years following, the appeal deadline will be September 1 of the year before the tax year being appealed. The reason for this change is the uncertainty which the prior deadline caused in municipal budget processes, since municipalities previously had to budget expenditures without knowing how property tax appeals would reduce their revenue streams by reducing property values.

Previously, property owners had to pay their tax bills based on the assessment being appealed. Homeowners who appealed their property assessments after they paid their taxes and won their appeals then had to wait for refunds. Based on recent court decisions in Allegheny County Courts, which reduced the Common Level Ratios (CLRs) for the last several tax years, many appeals resulted in lower assessed values. The 2024 CLR, based on 2023 sales, became effective July 1, 2024, dropping from 63.6% for 2023 to 54.5% for 2024. This change in CLR will likely result in more property tax appeals being filed and more property assessments being reduced. For recently sold properties, the sale price is multiplied by the CLR to get a fair assessment. This means a property which sold in 2022 for $100,000 should have been assessed at $63,000 using the 2023 CLR. If that same property sold for $100,000 in 2023, it should now be assessed at $54,000, based on the 2024 CLR.

The new ordinance and earlier deadline will benefit property owners who want to appeal based on the current CLR because they will not have to overpay their property tax bills and wait for refunds, as well as allow municipalities and school districts in Allegheny County to better predict their tax revenue when they pass budgets.

Our firm offers a free review of your potential to receive a property tax reduction, and handles those appeals at the Board of Property Assessment Appeal and Review level at a flat rate of $600 per 1-3 unit residential property and $800 for commercial property appeals at the same level. Call or email today for a consultation and do not miss the September 1, 2024 deadline to appeal!