TribLIVE

| News


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Judge refuses to order Allegheny County to use homeowners' appraisals for values

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By Bobby Kerlik
Monday, Feb. 4, 2013, 2:50 p.m.
 

The judge overseeing Allegheny County's property reassessment on Monday rejected a request to compel the county to accept homeowner-provided certified appraisals as definitive evidence of their property value.

The owners of eight homes sued the county and its Board of Property Assessment and Appeals last month, claiming that hearing officers improperly ignored credible evidence from homeowners who appealed their property reassessments. The lawsuit alleged that certified appraisals presented as evidence by homeowners did not receive proper consideration and that homeowners were given no explanation why that happened.

The plaintiffs' attorney argued to Senior Common Pleas Judge R. Stanton Wettick Jr. that if a homeowner presents a certified appraisal, the hearing officer should be required to accept that value as the assessed value unless a taxing body presents its own certified appraisal.

Wettick disagreed and in an eight-page ruling wrote that case law “does not support the 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.”

“It's what we expected,” said county solicitor Andrew Szefi. “My only hope is that people with credible appraisals are (appealing) to the Board of Viewers instead of relying on this flawed class-action suit.”

The judge did not throw out the lawsuit but declined to immediately require the county to retroactively accept all certified appraisals as the proper assessed values.

Plaintiffs' attorney David Huntley said he disagreed with the ruling in declining to grant an injunction and said the case “absolutely” will continue.

“We're disappointed, but we still believe our case has merit,” Huntley said. “This was really just a request for a preliminary injunction.”

Bobby Kerlik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7886 or bkerlik@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Pirates get journeyman Ishikawa off waivers; outfielder Marte injured
  2. PennDOT team decides what spells trouble on vehicle license plates
  3. Bookings for August Wilson Center climb, but permanent board yet to be set
  4. More charges filed against alleged ‘Spider-Man’ robber
  5. Woman shot at Kennywood Park in ‘freak accident’
  6. Alvarez homer triggers winning outburst for Pirates
  7. McCutchen, Pirates hitters increasingly in crosshairs
  8. Allegheny County Council aims to dig out of hole
  9. Residents return from church to discover fire-damaged Greensburg home
  10. State-owned universities spend millions in race to snare students
  11. Starkey: Bring back the Brawl!