Allegheny County Property Assessment: All You Need to Know

allegheny-county-property-assessment.
Image Source: iStock Photos

The Allegheny County property assessment keeps raising dust but, that’s not new.

Reports from Pittsburgh-based law firm, Flaherty & Fardo LLC. traced the series of lawsuits the county assessment has faced back to 1970.

An article published on February 3rd, 2022, also referred to the Allegheny County property assessment as “broken and unfair”.

This is because, according to publicsource.org, the county uses decade-old assessments to tax much of its property.

However, property assessments done by the county affect the taxes you’ll pay as a property owner in Allegheny.

But with the county’s lack of schedule to routinely reassess property values for tax purposes, property owners in Allegheny have learned to defend themselves with the law.

So here’s all you need to know about understanding the Allegheny County property assessment and the steps you can take to appeal an assessment in Allegheny.

Related: Inventory Investment: Definition, Calculations, and All You Need To Know

What is Property Assessment?

Property assessment or tax assessment is the job of determining the value, and sometimes determining the use, of property, usually to calculate a property tax.

This assessment is usually done by an office called the assessor. So, the amount of property taxes you pay largely depends on your property assessment.

The assessor, in this article, is Allegheny county. So the assessment determines the portion of property tax that will be due from your property (Source).

What is the History of Allegheny County Property Assessment?

Allegheny County has had a long and rough history with property assessments and residents of Allegheny County.

For instance, Green Tree sued Allegheny County over assessment practices in 1970.

Similarly, Wilkinsburg filed a similar suit in 1977. There have also been several judicial, political, and technological interventions to salvage the situation.

However, recently, there have been only two county-wide reassessments (2002 and 2012).

Unfortunately, there is an increased lack of uniformity of assessments between similar property owners. This comes as the practice of school districts only appealing to new home buyers (Source).

Read also: Risk-Benefit Analysis: Definition, Cost, and Examples

How Does Allegheny County Assess Property?

According to information from the County’s property assessments website, Allegheny County uses the base year method to set assessed values. This base year method allows similar homes to have similar assessments.

For instance, residential houses are expected to have similar assessments by eliminating the effect of changing market conditions.

Unfortunately, the ‘base year’ means that all properties should be assessed at what they were valued as of January 1, 2002, according to pghfirm.com.

But this can only be determined through either a sales comparison approach; a cost approach; and/or an income/expense approach.

However, Allegheny County’s current base year is 2012 with an effective date of value of January 1, 2012.

Finally, the tax year of 2013 adopted the base year 2012 and all tax years since.

Check this out: What is a Bitcoin ETF? Everything You Should Know!!!

Allegheny County Building Permit

If you erect a building on your property, then your property’s value may be reassessed. Your property can also be reassessed due to demolition, and occupancy permits.

Why Building Permits Matter in Allegheny County

The following are the reasons why you need building permits according to the Allegheny county property assessments website:

  • Allegheny County receives and reviews building, demolition, and occupancy permits from all Allegheny County municipalities.
  • Allegheny County reviews each permit to determine whether the property value should be reassessed.
  • This facilitates the tax abatement programs and accuracy in the data available to all property owners.

How Does Allegheny County Building Permit Process Work?

First, you must file any necessary permits in the municipality where the work is being performed if you’re a property owner, representative, or contractor.

Then, contact your municipality for details on the types of permits available and possible associated fees.

Afterward, municipalities submit all building, demolition, and occupancy permits to the Office of Property Assessments.

Finally, an assessment professional may review the permit(s) and determine the proper action for the property, if any.

Check this out: Is Virtual Office Worth It In 2022? Definition, Overview, and Benefits

How Do Municipalities Submit Permits in Allegheny County?

Municipalities can use the following mail, fax, or general contact form to submit permits in Allegheny county;

  1. Mail:
    Office of Property Assessments
    542 Forbes Avenue, Room 347
    Pittsburgh PA 15219 
  2. Fax: 412-350-6084
  3. Contact 

What Information Should You Submit for Allegheny County Building Permit?

According to the information on the Allegheny county property assessments website, you’ll need to submit the following information for a building permit:

  • Name of municipality and contact details
  • Permit details
  • Physical property address
  • Owner details
  • Builder/Contractor Details

Download the Permit Form to see the details.

Read also: Speedy Loans: 2022 Reviews and Offer

How Does Allegheny County Building Permit Catastrophic Loss Work?

According to Pennsylvania law, a catastrophic loss is any damage to a structure caused by a fire or other natural disaster that reduces the real property value by 50% or more. 

However, to be eligible for a property assessment reduction, the property owner must file an application within six (6) months of the date of the catastrophic loss, or within the remainder of the calendar year, whichever is longer (Source).

You can download the Catastrophic Loss Application here.

 Allegheny County Interim Property Valuation

Allegheny County assesses property on an annual basis, based on its condition on January 1 of each year.

As a result, after January 1 changes are not valued for County tax purposes until the following year. So you know, Allegheny County does not levy a partial year tax, also known as an interim tax.

Check this out: Money Organizer: Organizer for Cash and Bills

How to Fill Allegheny County Property Assessment Appeal Form

To fill out the Allegheny county property assessment appeal form, you’ll have to visit the portal.

The following is the process for Allegheny County Interim Assessment Request on the Allegheny county property assessment portal:

  • The application must be filed using the County’s form:
    See the Allegheny County Property Interim Assessment Application Portal
    The application must be for major improvements only. These would primarily be new construction and additions that add living or work areas to the property.
    You must include a copy of the builder’s permit and final occupancy permit.
  • The application must also be filed within twelve (12) months of completion of the improvement, with completion determined by the date on the final occupancy permit.
  • The application must be filed showing the name of the owner.
  • Further, a copy of the local ordinance authorizing interim assessments must be on file with the Allegheny County Office of Property Assessments

Read also: Risk-Benefit Analysis: Definition, Cost, and Examples

How to Submit the Allegheny County Interim Assessment Request

You can submit the Allegheny County Interim Assessment application via the following address or email:

Mail:

Office of Property Assessments

542 Forbes Avenue, Room 347

Pittsburgh PA 15219

Email:

Interims@AlleghenyCounty.US

Allegheny County Property Assessment FAQs

How do I Find Out Who Owns a Property in Allegheny County PA?

First, visit the Allegheny county property assessments portal or website. Or simply call this center number: 412-350-4636 for more information.

You can also use this Fax number (412-350-6084.) to get in touch with the office of property assessment.

Read also: Can You Write a Check to Yourself: All You Need to Know

How do I win Allegheny County Property Assessment Appeal?

Did you know you can appeal your Allegheny County assessment? Yes! First, visit the Allegheny county property assessments website and click on the search page.

However, You have to be qualified. There are two sets of people who can appeal a property assessment in Allegheny County;

First is the property owner. The second person is any taxing body with a vested interest in the parcel.

But how does this work? First, the Board of Property Assessments Appeals and Review (BPAAR) will hear your appeal.

However, this is the first level of appeal available to owners and taxing bodies. If the parties involved are not satisfied, then they may appeal the board’s decision.

That is to say, they can proceed to the second level, at the Court of Common Pleas, with the Board of Viewers (BOV).

Unlike the BPAAR, the BOV are independent bodies. So each has its own governing bodies and rules.

Allegheny County Vital Information for Property Assessment Appeals

The following is the vital information for property assessment appeals on the Allegheny county property assessment search page;

  • Confirm receipt of your appeal form
  • Prepare your evidence in support of your appeal
  • Submit your phone number to be called for the hearing FIVE days prior to the hearing date. 
  • Submit your evidence TEN days prior to your hearing date to the County, and also to the opposing parties.
  • Your hearing notice may arrive while you are on vacation or away from home.
  • Hiring Allegheny county property assessment appeal attorneys is by choice
  • Someone else can represent you for the appeal.
  • If you cannot attend the scheduled hearing you may request a one-time postponement however, it has to be in writing at least seven days before the scheduled hearing date
  • Only the filing party can request withdrawal of an appeal
  • It is not a requirement to attend an appeal filed on your property by your school district or municipality.

In addition, you can reach the BPAAR via this Call Center number: 412-350-4636. You can also visit them at;

County Office Building
542 Forbes Avenue, Room 334
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Check this out: Money Order Machine: All You Need to Know

How Do I Find Allegheny County Property Assessment Records?

If you want to find Allegheny county property assessment records, then you need to reach out to the office of property assessment.

The process is pretty easy. First, visit the Allegheny county property assessments portal or website. Or simply call this center number: 412-350-4636 for more information.

You can also use this Fax number (412-350-6084.) to get in touch with the office of property assessment.

One more option! If you don’t mind, you can further visit the Allegheny County office of property assessment at:

County Office Building
542 Forbes Avenue, Room 347
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Still, want to know more about how to find Allegheny County Property Assessment Records? We have two more options!

You can visit the department of real estate at:

County Office Building
542 Forbes Avenue, Room 101
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Or call any of these numbers:

Allegheny county property assessment department of real estate contact number

Finally, the following are various Allegheny property assessment records;

Allegheny County Property Assessment Records

See also: Monetary Value: Definition, Examples, and How it Works.

When Was the Last Allegheny County Assessment?

Want to go down memory lane? Read on! Allegheny County’s last court-ordered reassessment took place in 2013.

The county’s Board of Assessment Appeals and Review heard over 6,000 appeals from owners and taxing bodies in 2019.

Though Allegheny County’s last county-wide reassessment was in 2013, the Office of Property Assessments may reassess your property value when there are:

  • Omissions
  • Mathematical or clerical errors
  • Physical changes such as demolitions, subdivisions, and building permits
  • Occasionally, when a school district or municipality requests an interim assessment on new construction or major improvements
  • In the event of a catastrophic loss pursuant to Pennsylvania law.

In addition, other factors that can affect value changes are permits, appeals, corrections, flood loss, or catastrophic loss.

How Often Does Allegheny County Reassess Property?

Allegheny County has not had a reassessment since 2012. However, experts believe this makes the county’s property assessment outdated and unfair.

According to pghfirm.com, this potentially discriminates against minorities and/or lower-income neighborhoods, and violates Pennsylvania law.

Related: How Much Will it Cost My Business Daily to Hire a Small Business Attorney?

How Are Property Taxes Assessed in Pittsburgh?

All owners of real estate located within the City and School District pay tax.

However, the Allegheny County Office of Property Assessment determines the market value of the property.

They calculate the taxes by applying the millage rate to the assessed value (Source).

FAQs

How does Allegheny County determine assessed value?

A property’s assessed value is calculated by multiplying its market value by the county’s predetermined ratio. Beginning with the 2001 fiscal year, Allegheny County’s Office of Property Assessments has applied a predetermined ratio of 100%.

What are the property taxes in Allegheny County?

What is the property tax rate in Allegheny County? The average property tax rate in Allegheny County is 2.22%, and residents pay an average of $2,553 annually. Taxes in Allegheny County are higher than the state average of 1.35% and the national average of 1.1%

How often does Allegheny County reassess?

every three years

An excerpt from the report of the Committee to Study and Report on Assessment Practices, Procedures, and Policies in Allegheny County, was released in 1976. At the time, the county reassessed each property every three years, unlike today’s practice of base-year values altered by appeals.

Can I pay my Allegheny County taxes online?

Enjoy the convenience and flexibility of Easy Pay for paying your county property taxes. Allegheny County has contracted with Forte Systems to offer individuals and businesses the opportunity to pay real estate taxes directly over the internet.

Conclusion

Allegheny County property assessment uses the base year method to set assessed values. This base year method allows similar homes to have similar assessments.

Most experts consider the County’s assessment approach to be ‘unfair’ and ‘ decade old’. However, property owners can appeal their assessment if they are unsatisfied.

Some of the offices you can approach as mentioned in this article are the Office of Property Assessments and the Board of Property Assessments Appeals and Review.

References

  • www.pghfirm.com – What does the 2002 Base Year Mean for my Allegheny County Property Tax Appeal?
  • www.google.com – Maybe it is rocket science: Before Allegheny County stopped reassessing property, it was almost a pioneer
  • www.alleghenycounty.us – Property Assessments

Recommendations

0 Shares:
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You May Also Like