Workers Fired / Technical Difficulties:Assessments Expected to Increase Dramatically.
Allegheny County has been Court Ordered to have new property assessments for all of its estimated 580,000 commercial and residential properties by January 2012. All properties will then be assessed based upon their fair market value as of January 1, 2012. Currently Allegheny County is using a 2002 Base Year for property assessments.
Allegheny County reports it is 75% complete collecting data and other information on all of the properties and will soon begin the evaluation phase (assigning a value). The county plans on releasing these preliminary assessment values in Spring 2011, to allow property owners an opportunity to appeal before the 2012 property taxes are due.
When preliminary property assessments were released in 2005, areas such as Sewickley Heights, Edgeworth, Fox Chapel, Mt. Lebanon and Upper St. Clair were looking at estimated average property tax assessment increases up to 45% of their current market values. Many properties may see their assessments more than double since there will be a 10 year lapse in reassessments. Theoretically, the taxing entities are supposed to then reduce their millage rates, but some school districts may hold taxpayer money in fear of appeals, as many of the taxing entities did in 2002.
Recently, local news stations reported that some of the Allegheny County assessors were working for the county even though they had previously lost their real estate and/or appraisal licenses. The county immediately fired the identified employees. Allegheny County has also reported technical difficulties with their electronic field equipment.
For now, clients should not allow any Allegheny County assessors into their homes or onto their properties without consulting an attorney first. If you receive any notices concerning an increase in your property assessment, you should forward it to us or call (412.802.6666) for our free consultation.
Since 1999, Flaherty Fardo has been a leader in reducing Allegheny County Property Assessments. We will continue to update our clients on the 2012 Allegheny County Property Reassessment.