Real estate revalue appeals await Allegheny County homeowners
Allegheny County homeowners would get a chance this year to appeal their real estate assessments if the county executive has his way.
Executive Rich Fitzgerald asked County Council to allow property owners to appeal assessed values until April 1. Typically, property owners are not eligible to file appeals during the year that an assessment takes effect.
“You want to give people every opportunity to at least make it a little bit easier,” Fitzgerald said.
The county reassessed roughly 600,000 residential and commercial properties in 2012 for 2013 taxing purposes under a state Supreme Court order. Fitzgerald opposed the reassessment.
More than 100,000 appeals filed in 2012 challenge the new values. People who did not appeal last year would have to wait until 2014, unless council approves Fitzgerald's plan.
“A lot of people can't afford these assessments,” said Patricia Colello, 72, of White Oak, who said she might take advantage of a 2013 appeal for a vacant lot near her home. Its value rose from $12,000 to $26,000, and her appeal last year left that unchanged.
“Yes, if there's a chance we could do something, we certainly would do it,” Colello said. “The question is: Do we want to go into that extra cost (to appeal) and then lose?'”
Fitzgerald's idea appeared to garner some backing on council.
“I would support it,” said Councilman Vince Gastgeb, R-Bethel Park. “The system has been so convoluted. We've been overrun with appeals.”
The county's Board of Property Assessments and Review has 92 hearing officers.
Councilman Bill Robinson, who chairs council's budget and finance committee, said he would wait to hear more before making up his mind.
“I'm not sure extending these appeals is the right thing or the wrong thing. It might solve immediate concerns,” said Robinson, D-Hill District.
The appeals process sparked a lawsuit this week. The owners of nine homes sued the county and the appeals board, claiming that hearing officers are improperly ignoring certified appraised values that property owners present as evidence.
County solicitor Andrew Szefi said the Law Department is reviewing the lawsuit and its allegations. He declined to comment.
A hearing is expected on Jan. 18.
Bobby Kerlik is a staff writerfor Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7886or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Allegheny County assistant public defender charged for allegedly lying to court staff
- Owner of Italian Village Pizza stores gets house arrest for tax evasion
- Pittsburgh cracks down on overcrowded houses
- Holocaust Center could be ready for move to Greenfield in June
- W.Va. natural gas line explodes near Ohio border
- Mt. Lebanon High School to sell its planetarium equipment
- Woman sought in ‘friendly fire’ fatal shooting in Brighton Heights
- Crews attempting to repair water main break in Brentwood
- Beaver Falls woman to trial on charges she stole police car while handcuffed
- Lure of tuition aid, gifts draw college students to ‘sugar daddy’ sites
- Developer wants to keep historic atom smasher in Forest Hills