Should Allegheny County reassess your property? It's become a hot button issue in the county executive race.
After backlash against the last assessment 11 years ago, the county executive candidates, Joe Rockey and Sarah Innamorato are divided.
On this episode of I Strenuously Object, our intrepid trio, led into battle by the Queen of Tax Appeals, Nicole Amick, argue the pros and cons of reassessment.
Before you vote, listen to this very informative episode of ISO.
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session I strenuously object a legal podcast brought to you by the Pittsburgh law firm of Flaherty Fardo is now in session all those seeking information about the law and legal matters affecting the people of Pittsburg and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania half-baked opinions and a dose of self-indulgence are invited to attend and participate I want the truth you can't handle the truth the defense strenuously objects you would call the first witness okay hello out there and welcome to this episode of I strenuously object the property tax assessment situation developing always and ever and this November it is uh at least potentially on the ballot uh as both uh County Executive uh candidates have kind of staked out different positions uh on whether we should or should not have a reassessment uh here in Allegheny County to to try try to correct the the whole property tax debacle interesting to note you know we're going to create our own constitutional crisis here right because we're in the world of tax assessment I'm not sure we're living in a democracy I was under the impression that this was a monarchy and so joining us in our property tax assessment monarchy is the queen of tax appeals herself Nicole Amick also here with us of course is uh my partner in crime Noah Faro we are convening Royal conclave to discuss what whether or not we should have a reassessment and uh and with that welcome to both of you hello good morning greetings so first of all uh Nicole and I I I know coming off this this dominant win by the bills this weekend uh you may be floating high on your Royal Cloud um but are you worried here that the county executives are are are stepping on your Royal toes uh and and getting into a jurisdictional squabble that they're not outfitted to win it's an interesting because we had Rich Fitzgerald for so long it hasn't really been something that has been talked about too much so it's been interesting to see uh assessments kind of leaking into the political realm where they haven't been in a long time at least since the last reassessment so I've been very interested and feeling a lot of questions from a lot of friends and colleagues about what all of this is going to mean come November well look thumbnail us here and we're still a month away from the election and there's time for the candidates position to articulate differently or to change but but can you tell us what the candidates are saying right now sure so uh Sarah Namar uh the Democratic candidate has come out more strongly in favor of potentially doing a reassessment in alagan County certainly acknowledging that there are many problems with the current system she has suggested an approach that would be similar or include some facets of how Philadelphia deals with that um including tax breaks for seniors Etc different ways of kind of softening the blow should one occur uh
Rocky the Republican candidate has come out against reassessments pretty strongly in terms of uh acknowledging the fact that there are problems with the assessment system in alany County he certainly does that I have not seen him really articulate any plan of action of how exactly to fix that but he seems to be pretty strongly against a reassessment generally that seems like how I understand the race to be shaping up uh at at the moment as well I I guess my first question here is if we need a reassessment why do we need a reassessment the short answer is yes we need a reassessment uh and I say that because the last time we did a reassessment in alany County was in 2012 the markets have changed significantly since then and the further we get away from that base year the 2012 base year in alany County the worse it gets so every year that we continue going on without a reassessment things continue to become inequitable across the county and that is evidenced by looking at town houses or row houses in lawrencville where one neighbor is paying $800 a year in taxes and the next or neighbors is paying $112,000 a year in taxes and again as we continue moving away from that base year it gets worse and worse as time goes on okay so you're saying the current situation is leading to um inequitable property taxes uh and you explained to neighbors having having different tax rates wildly different tax rates you know multiple one neighbor paying five or 10 times as much as the neighbor in very similar homes why is that the case why is that happening as the years go on school districts will file appeals as people buy properties so for someone that's been in a property since 1980 1990 when they got their reassessment value in 2012 assuming that they didn't challenge it that was just their value that will continue continue on until another reassessment happens but when someone sells a property so if I bought a property in 2018 2019 really anytime after 2012 typically if there's a difference between a purchase price and an assessment value that assessment is going to be appealed by a school district and go up so as time goes on and more of these appeals are filed the new Property Owners which are many uh there's been many transactions as you can imagine since 2012 continue paying higher and higher rates while people that have been in properties for a long time continue to stay at the same value and that will again continue until there is a reassessment so as time goes on again things continue becoming worse and worse and worse your majesty with all due respect I strenuously object by which I mean you're you're right of course that this is where the inequity is but but what I would suggest is to fix that inequity inequity what's the cost what's the other thing that we're allowing to happen right so I mean first of all you know I've certainly heard it said that BAS and and I think most people operate this way that a reassessment is basically just a longer fancier word for tax increase is that right no that is an easy thing for people to say to scare Property Owners now certainly if a reassessment happened some people would see their taxes increase absolutely many people would see their taxes decrease and some people would certainly see no change to their taxes I recently saw an article that said if a reassessment happened onethird of people would see their taxes go down one-third of people would see their taxes stay the same and onethird of people would see an increase of some kind um just because assessments go up millage rates then have to come down to adjust for that so you're dealing with a different calculation and it's not something where everyone would get a new assessment and everyone in alany County would see an increase to their taxes that's not how that would go well I mean not right away right so there is state law that basically it's an anti- windfall provision that says that when there there is a reassessment the taxing bodies are required by State Statute which is the state sits with more power over top of the county the school boards the municipalities and the state says you guys have to adjust and fix your millage rate to be approximately Revenue neutral I think they're not allowed to gain more than some I don't know maybe two and a half percent or something like that I thought it was 5% but okay maybe it's two actually I think it is 5% after I said that so go back sorry it's all right that's why I'm here back way to chime in good work Noah you're our live Snopes representative here fact check us accordingly that said that that provision is really only in place the first year right um if the mill rates go way down for a particular school or a particular municipality Nothing Stops them from jacking that mill rate back up over the next two three four five years in a way that does turn this into a admittedly multi-step process but but a slow walk nonetheless into a tax increase for basically everyone well I think you can look at what happened after 2012 because that's the most recent time that that happened here we haven't seen these crazy changes like you're saying um in many areas but it's interesting because now with the common level ratio going down significantly as more owners are filing appeals to try to bring their taxes back in line with where they should be we're starting to see millage rates go up in some areas I think they're going to go up sign ific L next year for example because as more more owners are filing appeals and getting their assessments down their taxes down they're losing the taxes the taxing bodies are losing that Revenue so we're actually starting to see the opposite happen where owners are causing millage rates to go up because their taxes are too high and they're actually challenging it right now so either way I think we're kind of coming to a head where something's going to need to give and I think the thing that makes the most sense and would be easiest to do would be a reassessment oh Chim bill you asked do we we need a reassessment no but if you want taxpayers as a whole to be treated more fairly then you have to do a reassessment because when you tax only once every decade or in this case 11 12 years with the scho districts appealing the recent home buyers it increases the disparities among what people are paying so if you want to treat everyone fairly yes you need a reassessment but like you said people equate a reassessment with raising taxes and no matter how well you explain that's not necessarily true the fact is if you do a reassessment some people's assessments is going to go from 300,000 to 900,000 from 400,000 to 1.2 million and when you get great increases like that even if they're isolated or even if they're only 15% of the assessments yes a reassessment is going to increase people's property taxes and that's why it's the ultimate political Hot Potato over the last 25 years well that's right and and look I get on just like a base visceral intellectual level that the idea that two basically identical houses that are next door to each other one of them is assessed at $600,000 and one of them is assessed at $660,000 because one of them has sold in the past two years and one of them hasn't sold in 40 years that feels unjust on the other hand if you're the person living in that house that's assessed at $60,000 who's lived there for 30 or 40 years if your taxes increase based upon your neighbor selling right now you're in a situation where I can't afford my tax bill anymore my tax bill my tax my taxes get reassessed I'm now paying the same amount approximately is my neighbor my neighbor however recently bought the house paid $600,000 for the house is able to plan an account for what his taxes are going to be when he moves in and here I am on a fixed income I've been here for 30 years I have no choice but to sell so the reason not to reassess right is the people who are under assessed right now if you quote unquote fix it or make it quote unquote Equitable a lot of those people especially in neighborhoods where there's you know a lot of these kind of you know refurbished houses and radically increasing property tax or property values as these neighborhoods sell are literally going to be forced to sell their homes because they have no other option I have two comments on that the first of which is that happens to people that recently buy houses too I have a lot of clients that are senior citizens or on fixed incomes that buy a property basing that mortgage payment on their current taxes and when the school district appeals and the taxes go up significantly in some situations I have those clients telling me I can't afford this house if I had known that my taxes were going to increase 10 times because a reassessment hasn't happen in in 12 years I would not have bought this house because I can't afford it I'm on a fixed income so thaten happens that way too which is something that people don't talk about in that direction they just talk about the people that have been living in their houses for 40 years but there's people on fixed incomes that buy properties now too well is isn't that a buy or beware situation right like I feel bad for a property owner who bought their house a house that was radically under assessed expecting that their taxes were going to St the same get appealed and their taxes go up but that is a predictable outcome right everyone knows there's this welcome to the neighborhood tax people don't not everyone knows that I I mean we're we're in this space so I I think that everyone knows it too because I know it and this is what I do every day but I talk to many many people who are relocating from to live near their grandkids from Florida who are relocating from California to work and they've never lived here before not everyone knows that that's going to happen so I talk to a lot of people who say no one told me about this I didn't know that my taxes were going to go up my mortgage payment was based on you know x amount of dollars and now they're telling me I four times as much like what this has never happened anywhere else I've lived this is not something that I knew was going to happen so yes some people know about it but not everyone does so it's definitely something that's out there yeah and I think half of the real real estate agents will update the clients about what's to H about to happen and half don't so you'd be surprised at how many times people don't know the question I have for both of you is which candidate is right if this is such a major political issue and you're voting just based on property taxes who should you vote for Cate I'm I'm going to hard veto the thing that you're doing well no have some fun with this I mean why now we're going to start editing this show you can't do it answer the question do who's right why don't why don't we just focus it on this specific issue that's what I'm saying if you're voting if you're a single voter issue because I don't because the thing you're doing is going to force Us in as much as we're paying to put this online to make campaign Finance disclosures um like I want I want can't play around candidate advocacy in this I'm not advocating for I'm asking you what are the pros and cons you're not the way you worded the question was who's right if you're voting on this issue that's candidate advocacy and it's a it's a potential now we may be small enough to fly under the radar and have nobody care but technically speaking there's problems here with basically turning this into a campaign ad for one of the candidates and paying to put it online I'm trying to help people understand who care about property assessments what's the implication of doing a reassessment versus not doing a reassessment which means you cannot ask which candidate is right let me ask you too a question what are the pros and cons for me Joe Homeowner of a reassessment versus a not not a reassessment are my taxes going up are my taxes not going up what are the strengths and weaknesses of each well well that's what we've been that's what we've been talking about right it depends on who your it depends on who your Joe home owner is if Joe homeowner just bought his property in the last couple years a reassessment is mostly good for you um because it's going to make sure that you're not the one carrying the burden in your taxes for your neighbors who haven't recently sold and who are under assessed on the other hand if you're Joe homeowner and if you you've lived in the same house for 30 years and your neighbors have been selling for for way way more than what you paid and what your assessed at then obviously a reassessment is going to be bad for you now it's bad for you in some sense because you are emotionally speaking under assessed and we're correcting that underassessment um but uh you know what's the line I've I've never heard a corpse ask how it got so cold right it doesn't matter how it is uh you can call it correcting an underassessment all you want if I'm Joe homeowner and my taxes are going up telling me that I've been underpaying for a decade doesn't make me feel any better about that well I think there was some interesting things that were done when Philadelphia just did a reassessment which is something that Sarah Namar has talked about which is trying to help homeowners in terms of softening the blow to certain homeowners um something that Philadelphia did was they increased the homestead exemption on properties so if it's your primary residence which these longtime homeowners that's you know who we're talking about that's presumably where they live um it increase the exemption by doubling it so that helps save these you know primary resident people property taxes that's not going to help a developer but that's not who we're trying to help here and another thing they did was they have a program for people that have lived in their homes for a certain amount of years I believe it's income based uh help significantly soften you know the additional taxes that they would have to pay so I think it's a really complicated issue there's certainly no easy way there's no easy answer I think if there was someone would have already done it but I think the only way that you can fix it now because we're too far gone is to do a reassessment I think if you did it every three years or five years even you you do away with a lot of these problems because that eliminates these shockingly huge increases because there's not enough time for that to happen over that time period And I think that if you can build in some way of helping people through some income based or uh residency requirement uh caveat in this you can really help the people that were worried about hurting through this while also accomplishing kind of bringing us back to square one in terms of Assessments yeah I look there is a solution to the assessment problem out there what the the answer is not the extremes either do nothing or just do a reassessment and leave it go again that's not the answer because when you do the extremes it hurts a lot more people but Philadelphia is the leader in this right now and it's a combination of raising the homestead exemption giving you a more a larger tax break if it's your primary res residents it's a great idea that if people have been in their home for a long time and have a fixed income we're not kicking them out of their house so you have to have barriers to protect longtime homeowners but the real answer to what Philadelphia is doing is reassessments every three years because a reassessment is not a bad thing in and of itself unless you do it and then do nothing for the next five seven and the longer you get from the reassessment the more harm you have to the collective taxpayers so I think there is an easy solution um it's interesting that I think one of the candidates maybe both are talking about it I don't know I can't even pronounce their names honestly I can't pronounce either name here's the problem with regular reassessments I think they make sense conceptually if you're doing them really well but doing a reassessment whether it's every 10 years or every 3 years right every reassessment you do is expensive and every reassessment is going to make some number of mistakes right and have to be available to have someone say well hey this reassessment when you reassessed me you got it wrong right we saw that in 2002 or shortly thereafter when we did the 2002 base year we saw it again in 2012 the last two times this county has done Mass reassessments the numbers have been all over the map Are We Now talking about doing that every three years well I think I think part of that is don't wait so long because when you wait so long there's so many other variables that come into play whereas if you do it every years you're not starting from you know that long ago when you when you do 10 years especially these last 11 years 12 years how much has changed with property since the 2008 recession to today I mean it's it's astronomically different so yeah I look I I wholeheartedly believe the argument that reassessments mean an increase in taxes is a winning political argument but look at the market real estate market fluctuations in elene County since 2008 I mean if you put that on a stock graph chart or you know it's been up it's been down it's was down up during coid now it's down again I mean without periodic reassessments it's a mess and that's what we have right now is how many appeals are filed this year Nicole 20,000 25,000 I think yeah I think 30,000 yeah and this is a non reass I mean this is like nothing in 20 uh what what year we 2023 we have 30,000 appeals filed and we we're 13 years or 11 years removed from the reassessment it makes no sense so you're doing just you're spending just as much money filing 30,000 appeals as you are what it would it cost to do a reassessment and you can't tell me with AI technology these days that we can't create some computer system that's cost effective to Value properties especially when we just did it a couple years ago have to be able to I would have to assume that you know the first one that we do is gonna there's going to be growing pains for sure I mean there'll be a lot of appeals all that once we get over that if we do it again in three or five years instead of just like leaving it open-ended forever I think you kind of cut down on the expense of appeals to the county because those are expensive as well it's free to file appeals so it's free for the property owner but it's not free for the taxpayer because who's paying for all that infrastructure we are as taxpayers so I think when you look at it over time I understand what you're saying it's certainly expensive the first time it would be expensive and growing pains for sure but if we did it regularly I think we'd cut down on that significant over a pretty short period of time it makes sense to to make sure we think about in factoring the costs of the the infrastructure of the current system on the other hand certainly the first time I we remember how many different hearing officers there were back when the reassessment was happening how many appeals there were like $330,000 or 30,000 appeals is a drop in the bucket compared to reassessing what 200 or 300,000 property 586 th000 properties in El County so back in 2012 there was 100,000 appeals that were filed and then as we started getting away from the base year there's still 10 15,000 appeals per year that are filed and now because the the ratios are changing so much we're back up to 25,000 30,000 a year I mean that's going to continue happening until we do a reassessment so it's you know there's no easy answer as I said it's certainly not it's a very complicated issue there's going to be winners and losers in it no matter what you do But continuing on with this is just making it worse and worse and worse every year we don't do anything to change it let me ask it this way too can a county executive stop a
reassessment you know the last two times that we've had reassessments they've been ordered by the court and there has been Rumblings from school districts that are now losing tax money hand over fist with all these owner filed appeals they're starting to get on on board with a reassessment as well so I think it's going to happen one way or another whether that be a County executive ordering it whether that be a court ordering it through a lawsuit that's filed by either a property owner or a taxing entity um I think we're gonna end up there sooner than later yeah Bill the most important thing that the county needs to start doing is do what Beaver County did this year they did a reassessment but they really started it two years before the tax bills came due and they allowed you to appeal that assessment a year before your tax bills came due in 2002 and 2012 when we did the reassessment there was an informal process in one of those but they really just reassessed and then sent you the tax bills and you had to pay pending the appeal and that was a horrible idea the whole system that we've got right now where you know at the end of your tax appeal process you either get a refund check or you end up owing a whole bunch more money as the appeals take years to to process uh you know to me one of the benefits to some sort of hard reset on this system it obviously makes sense to be doing these things pro proactively and not retroactively and and basically say look if this is your tax for this year and you want to appeal for next year go ahead but this year's already done right let's just talk about future tax years yeah and I I had a hearing this morning uh and I was talking to the hearing officer and he was asking me Nicole have you gotten any decisions yet for this year because they don't the hearing officers don't know how quickly you know they make the sausage in the back in terms of sending out decisions and I was telling him and talking with the school district Sol who was also on the phone I have not received any decisions for any hearing I've done this year which started in May I am just starting to now received decisions for hearings I attended in June of 2022 so what's happening is we're getting these decisions because there's been so many appeals that were filed so many lawsuits because this is such a mess so many lawsuits have delayed everything that we're getting 2022 decisions in late 2023 property owners are getting this decision sometimes after they've already re received an additional tax bill for 2022 and 2023 which you have to pay regardless of if you appeal it or not so you know these people are being hurt too because you know even though I tell my clients this is going to relate to 2022 no matter when we get it we might not get it till next year a lot of people don't know that so they're going to be getting these additional tax bills and this again all is stemming from the mess that is the assessment process right now well does does doing a reassessment do anything to clear up that backlog no but it would help avoid it from happening forever into the future because right now I'm not seeing really an end to it uh hopefully we get caught up but it's just with again with the litigation challenging so many aspects of how this works everything is so delayed that I'm not sure when and if we're going to get caught up I'm attending hearings now telling people we might not get a decision till next summer I don't know uh I'm not in charge uh but everything is taking a really long time not to mention that the tax appeal process which should have an A two-level appeal system and it does but the second level of the appeal system which most of these cases go to the second level is another 12 to 18 months so you're have cases here where somebody's filed an appeal against them they've gone a year and a half still waiting for a decision they're going to appeal that decision and go another year and a half and now we're litigating three years of assess ments and have significant implications both ways either they owe a ton of money or they're getting a lot of money back yeah I will say the board of viewers has done a lot to clear out the backlog at that level because with no decisions coming out from the first level they're trying to clear their cases out so they've been scheduling actually pretty quickly but as Noah said I it's October I'm getting decisions for last year now so if I file an appeal today which my office is our office is filing appeals today for a bunch of people we just got decisions for a hearing will not be scheduled until next year so these people are going to have to pay three years of taxes all basically at one time and then we're fighting to get money back when it's not their fault that it's been taking so long so it's it's not helping anybody it's really not helping anybody yeah I mean obviously the backlog is bad I just I just do think it's interesting how the issues of a reassessment and all of this kind of procedural backlog litigation over the CLR get lumped together when really whether we reassess or not we're talking about past year with all the litigation and the backlog and the CLR and a reassessment isn't going to change your taxes for past years and it isn't going to move those cases any closer to completion it won't change that but it will help us avoid that from happening forever which is kind of what we're looking at now and and I think we're just going to continue seeing litigation whether that be school district filed or property owner filed changes to the ratio cause big shifts in terms of how many appeals are filed so this system will continue being limping along broken until we actually take a step to change it and fix it and doing nothing I think is not the answer so the last thing I really want to Circle back to here the thing that's triggered the court CH or the the court ordered reassessments in the past is Court application of the uniformity Clause that requires taxes to be uniform in in the state constitution this is a state constitutional issue where essentially by not reassessing people courts eventually find when it gets out of whack enough that you know treating properties that have tripled and quadrupled in value and treating properties that are stagnant or even declining in value um fundamentally is not treating those properties the same if you're taxing those properties the same even though one area is wildly appreciating and the other is not that is fundamentally unfair to the people in typically poor non you know uh non-inflated uh property value type neighborhoods and that's usually the thing that has in the past couple occasions triggered uh uh intervention by the courts to force the county to do something different it's interesting to note the the state constitution while it generally speaking requires uniformity and doesn't for example allow us to treat residential and Commercial properties different you can't just like tax commercial properties at five times the rate as Residential Properties even if that would be a pretty popular plan uh without amending the Constitution to allow it but the state constitution does allow uh a bunch of different kind of classifications of property where you can't necessarily exempt them wholesale uh from taxes but you can reduce that tax burden or make partial exemptions or whatever we we talked about the homestead exemption already as one of these right owner occupied Residential Properties can be treated differently at least you know after or after up to a certain point right and you know we have a homestead exemption that sets it what is it now 15 18,000 18,000 and but there's no reason we couldn't as far as I'm aware set it at 100 or 150,000 which would make a lot of people in residential neighborhoods that aren't the everything but the kind of top end functionally exempt from from property taxes there are also ways you can treat these things differently for disability or infirmity uh or just the age right there are senior citizen tax abatements that a person can apply for where literally we will tax you differently based upon whether the owner occupier of your property is 65 versus 64 right every where you draw one of these lines you end up with something that looks a little bit like an injustice because you have to draw a line somewhere um but you can protect specifically older people actually the the Constitution allows you to income test this and to exempt or partially exempt or otherwise give a tax break to People based upon the earned income coming into that specific house now no there are no uh counties or municipalities no one in the state has actually done this but there is specific State constitutional language that allows uh a taxing body to do these sorts of things so there it's it's interesting and kind of you know what the options there are I guess I just want to ask each of you what what your favorite kind of fix is right because you know I I think everyone here is talking look if you're going to do reassessments you have to do reassessments plus where you build in some kind of protections for the people who are going to be most egregiously harmed by that process because if we want a more Equitable system we want to get there in a way that doesn't literally Force people to sell their houses and and leave the neighborhoods they've been in for 40 years we don't want that um what's your favorite way to stop that so my what I think and what I agree with at least on a surface level is something similar to what Sarah and amarado was talking about which includes a lot of what Philadelphia did and it's it's kind of what you were talking about before um you know increasing the homestead exemption I believe Philadelphia just increased it to $80,000 so that's sizable you know that would definitely help people right now here it's 18,000 so it's you know a quarter now that Homestead that homestead exemption in this County anyway that's only mandatory on the county itself right your your school or municipality may or may not care about your homestead exemption correct there are for example my school district does include a homestead exemption it's not the same but there is something there's different versions of it for buroughs and and school districts across alany County and that's another option maybe we you know school districts might start respecting it school district taxes are the highest taxes that we pay for property taxes um there are currently different senior citizen tax reliefs available in alany County there is a couple different components of that including that you need to have lived in your home for more than 10 years um and there's an income component to that as well I believe Philadelphia also reduced the income tax to help help offset the increase of property taxes so there's different ways of trying to kind of move it around uh and still start start from square one one thing that I disagree with um is the fact that this if there was a reassessment it would hurt disproportionately young people I don't agree with that um young people I would assume are recent home buyers and as we talked about before recent home buyers are the ones that are paying the much higher tax bills typically right now so I don't again I don't think that there's an easy answer it seems like both candidates that are on the ballot agree that this is not working that some should be done I think um Sarah namorado seems to have more of a proposed plan of action although it's not very firm but she's talking more about what steps we can do but certainly I think it seems that everyone agrees that this is not working and something needs to change I I think I have an answer bill in a perfect world on how to fix this the school district tax is two-thirds of your tax so if you're paying 3,000 in taxes on a $100,000 home two grand of that is going to the school district District what we need to do is fund the school districts through a raised income tax raise the income tax from 3% to 6% which is what they did in Georgia so in elany County a million doll home pays $30,000 a year in property taxes in Georgia a million doll home pays $10,000 a year but the people who are working pay an extra 3% and what this would do is increase everybody's net worth immediately because your home's your greatest value and when people buy real estate state they're basing it on what they can afford so if the property taxes are onethird of what they are now everybody's net worth goes up there's no reason and then the people who are working who can afford it pay 3% more and we no longer have this mass chaos with the reassessment or not not as great effect because it's only onethird the balance we're talking about so the issue I would take at least initially in terms of skepticism with that property taxes are weird right Mo most of the rest of the things we tax we tax based upon like decisions you make right how much money you earn or what things you purchase there are things you can do to pay more tax or less tax um property tax where is one of the only places we tax ownership as such you own an asset you haven't done anything with it you haven't bought it you haven't sold it you haven't transferred it you haven't improved it but because of market conditions swirling out around there we're going to step in like even even capital gains tax you don't do that until you sell it right we don't come in and like hey your stocks went up this year you haven't sold them we're going to tax you on the current value of your stock portfolio we don't do that in any place other than real estate it's weird on the other hand uh we've seen a lot of issues with the fact that like the the richest of us don't make quote unquote earned income um and aren't subject to income taxes at the same kind of rate right because they're investing instead of earning income there's a lot of property that's owned by a lot of businesses that show no income um on their tax taxes right a lot of businesses file taxes that show losses they pass the money on through to shareholders or whatever but as far as corporate books there's a lot of corporate books where you have a lot of assets but not a lot of income those if what we do is move away from property tax and into income tax all of the businesses that own giant swads of real estate stand to save a ton in taxes and that revenue is going to be made up by you know lower middle and up kind of upper middle class income earners who are going to end up having to pay more because they're the ones showing income as opposed to these uh these corporations that own these buildings yeah now what the biggest problem I have with the current system is somebody bought a house and I've seen this for 15 or $200,000 20 years ago and the Market's appreciated significantly right and the house may be worth 800 or th a million dollars now and they're 60 years old and their kids are through school but now for the next 20 years because they bought a house two decades ago for 200 Grand they're paying $30,000 a year from age 60 for the rest of their life without any kids in school they're really fun but Noah Noah in that example they've lived there for so long their taxes are probably two grand a year their neighbor is probably paying 30 grand but they're not paying that much um if well that that's a good point I can't disagree with that I have a solution and it merges our worlds are colliding Jerry worlds are colliding um I have a solution that merges the the kind of two fundamental areas of our practice and of the subject matter this podcast has covered medical malpractice and property tax appeals get rid of UPMC and and all the kind of Hospital tax exemptions value their property tax their property and everyone else should see a tax reduction uh according would we would we get in trouble if we did a podcast on how much UPMC Saves by not paying property taxes being classified as a non as a charitable entity yeah I don't you know I I don't think there's anyone to get us in trouble as long as our information is accurate we have to we have to be careful about that without having real access to upmc's books it's kind of hard for us to get reliable information to to really do dollars and cents right well didn't they bring in7 billion in revenue or 12 billion in revenue and paid zero in property taxes last year what what what did I just say I haven't looked at their books I don't know I'm not going to go on the I'm not going to go on our are non-air wve Airwaves here and say that that's the figure they made a lot of money most of their property and I'm sure they own property in a bunch of different Avenues and venues and like you know where they own property but it's a 7-Eleven instead operating on the store I don't know if that 7-Eleven in Oakland is still open or not anyway like some of those still end up paying some taxes on some of them depending on how it's actually being used but yeah yeah like they're not being taxed on big giant hospitals that are worth millions and millions of ad dos not to interrupt you but this has actually been something that people have been talking about Bill and so I just Googled on my phone while you were talking because I remember reading a couple articles in the last couple years where some people have been saying why are some of these companies that are clearly for-profit companies getting a charitable tax exemption that doesn't really make any sense and I'm looking at a news article from pit news.com so that's the source not me um saying that UPMC quote by far benefits the most from its non profit status reducing its property tax liability by $ 58.3 million a year there you go yeah we can uh we can really help subsidize a lot of a lot of old homeowners staying in their homes if we can bring in another $50 million in uh in tax revenue even if that ends up getting passed along in the form of uh higher medical costs that then fall on those same old folks when they go to the hospital the you know it's a little bit whacka moly right the system always finds ways for these to pop out and it's uh but yeah conceptually you know there's a lot of untaxed real estate um that that the rest of us are having to putot the bill for okay so here we are end of the day uh I'll ask both of you and maybe I'll ask myself too we'll see uh Nicole reassessment or no reassessment reassessment Noah reassessment or no reassessment reass assessment with additional safeguards put in place protect the elderly increase the homestead and continue to reassess
periodically I'm not as clear on that as you two are do I want to vot I for our purposes I'm willing to vote uh no reassessment and just get outvoted two to one um that's I don't know that this conclave works by those numbers anyway um yeah okay I I I get your Arguments for re assessment it makes sense um but it's a mess either way that's right all right thanks for joining us on this episode of I strenuously object hopefully you learned something or you know have crystallized your position on the uh eventually inevitable impending reassessment anyway this Situation's not going to last um in any case Please Subscribe rate and review the podcast tell your friends about us if you have any questions uh that you'd like to see addressed on the podcast specifically on our mailing it in segment any other feedback email us that's at iob PGH firm.com uh we are on Instagram do they do they still call that the gram or is it insta I don't know one half or the other uh that's at I strenuously object podcast for more information on tax assessments and appeals uh medical malpractice or or or the local law generally please visit the website of Flaherty Fardo and that's at PGHfirm.com uh Nicole said go bills uh I say at least go Josh Allen because what's the point of having a self- indulged podcast if I can't talk about my guys from a fantasy perspective um and until next time some part of
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