February 2, 2012

In move described by County Executive Rich Fitzgerald as “a win for Allegheny County taxpayers,” the judge overseeing the county’s much-criticized 2012 property reassessment recently agreed to a one-year delay in using the 2012 values to calculate property tax liability.  This means that for this year, property owners will be taxed according to their 2011 assessment, not at the 2012 figure; the 2012 figures will be used to calculate tax bills in early 2013.  The judge also indicated he would not grant any further delays.

While the one-year moratorium provides temporary relief to the thousands of property owners who faced higher tax bills based on their higher 2012 assessed value, they must keep in mind that in order to challenge the 2012 figure they must file an appeal soon or they lose that right.

Notices indicating the 2012 reassessed values were recently mailed to property owners in Pittsburgh, Mt. Oliver and the East suburbs (known as Models 1, 2 and 3).  Per the court order, the deadline to for filing formal appeals to the Board of Property Assessment Appeals and Review (BPAAR) of the 2012 assessment for use in 2013 is April 2, 2012.  The deadline for informal reviews is February 15, 2012, and must be done by calling (412) 350-4600 or online by clicking here.  If a property owner fails to file a formal appeal by April 2, 2012, he or she loses the right to challenge the 2012 assessed value for 2013 tax purposes.

If a property owner wishes to appeal both the 2011 assessment for use in 2012 and the 2012 assessment for use in 2013, the appellant must complete and file two appeal forms: one form covers appeals of the 2011 assessment for use in 2012 and the other form covers appeals of the 2012 assessments for use in 2013.  The Court of Common Pleas suggests that property owners with pending appeals who seek to challenge the 2012 values should file a separate appeal.

Owners in the remaining municipalities can expect to receive their new values in the next month or so, click here to see dates.  Currently, no mechanism is in place for appeals of the 2012 assessments for these municipalities; it is anticipated that appeal dates will be established around the time notices are sent.

MB&M has a dedicated team of attorneys who have successfully handled thousands of allegheny tax assessment appeals who can guide you through this often confusing process.  If you have any questions or seek to appeal your property tax assessment, please contact tax appeal attorney Donald Walsh at 412.242.4400 or at daw@mbm-law.net.

Alfred C. Maiello
Alfred Maiello

Alfred C. Maiello is the founding member of MBM and has represented area school districts as solicitor for 50 years. He counsels school districts and educational institutions on leading developments in school law and guiding them through their day-to-day and long-term challenges.