Informal appeal results of Allegheny County assessments due soon
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All Allegheny County property owners will know within a few days how effective their informal challenges to new property values were.
The county's Office of Property Assessments next week will mail out the results from the last of those hearings, a county spokeswoman said Friday.
More than 68,000 property owners initially requested informal appeals of their new assessments after the county released the results of an $11 million court-ordered real-estate reevaluation.
More than 100,000 people filed formal appeals, which offer a second opportunity to question the accuracy of the updated property values. Some of those formal challenges are likely to be dropped once the results of the informal hearings are known.
Municipalities, school districts and the county itself will use the new property values to calculate property taxes starting Jan. 1. The updated assessments will replace 2002 "base-year" values that have been used for a decade.
Informal hearings were completed June 1, and the recommendations were sent on to the Office of Property Assessment. That agency completed its review of proposed changes by a July 31 deadline, county spokeswoman Amie Downs said. The final step -- approval of the remaining changes by the quasi-independent Board of Property Assessment Appeals and Review -- took place Thursday.
Appeals board action on changes was needed, because the new assessments were "certified" values.
A more common two-step procedure following reassessment is for property owners to receive notice of proposed changes -- before the Office of Property Assessments certifies them -- and then have an opportunity to challenge their accuracy before they become official values.
Facing a deadline for getting new property values into the hands of municipalities and school boards in time for their use this year, Common Pleas Senior Judge R. Stanton Wettick Jr., who is overseeing the reassessment, instructed the county to send out certified numbers.
Judge Wettick later pushed back until 2013 the timetable for using new property values to calculate real estate taxes. That delay was designed to give property owners opportunities to challenge their new assessments.
Initial statistics, based on the first reassessment challenges, showed that less than 45 percent of those who made informal appeals saw their assessed value decline. There was no change recommended following 54 percent of informal appeals. Less than 2 percent of informal challenges resulted in an assessment increase.
Updated statistics on the results of appeals should be available next week.
First Published August 4, 2012 12:00 am