Allegheny County didn't care about correct assessments

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Reading Ralph Mayhorn Jr.'s letter ("Better Taxation," Aug. 26) I understand his frustration over the assessment system. My residence on Hill Street is the last house on a narrow dead-end street, no sidewalks, no storm sewers, bordering an active railroad, viewing the industrial lower end of Bridgeville. My assessment has gone from $91,500 to $174,000, yet the average value of houses on my street is $79,375.

My informal appeal was a joke; the officer could not even remember his computer password so wrote everything on paper. The formal was not any better. I submitted a certified appraisal of $134,000 and showed the Zillow value at $132,000. I submitted topographical evidence showing steep terrain, showed the average values, etc., etc. My formal appeal decision came back, and it is still $174,000 with no explanation as to why they would not consider my evidence.

Judge R. Stanton Wettick Jr. once stated that these assessment professionals do not have to accept the taxpayer's evidence and they do not have to counter-produce information to dispute yours.

I have hired an attorney to fight the system and am waiting patiently for my day, but I am not optimistic. It is apparent this county was only concerned about getting the assessment done because a judge said so; they could care less about doing it right.

Consider yourself lucky, Ralph. You got off easy! I am sure there are many more property owners who have assessment nightmares worse than mine, but that does not ease the frustrations.

JAMES T. DONOVAN
Bridgeville


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