Judge won't require Allegheny County to follow private appraisals
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A judge today turned down a request from 11 Allegheny County homeowners who asked that the assessment of their homes be set by their own hired appraisers.
In an eight-page opinion, Senior Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge R. Stanton Wettick Jr. said there was no legal precedent that would require hearing officers at assessment appeals to take the homeowner's word on their property's worth if no one contradicted it with another appraisal.
Filed in January by Pittsburgh attorney David Huntley, the lawsuit contended that the Board of Property Assessment and Review rejected homeowners' requests for a lower assessment despite the evidence, even when the taxing bodies failed to show contradicting paperwork.
Mr. Huntley had asked for a preliminary injunction automatically setting his clients' assessments at the amount specified by their appraisers.
Judge Wettick refused, saying the case law proffered by the property owners "does not support plaintiffs' claim that in a single-expert hearing, the hearing officer cannot assess the property at any fair market value other than the appraiser's recommended fair market value."
First Published February 4, 2013 5:31 pm