Thousands wait for assessment appeal hearings
By Matthew Santoni
Published: Thursday, April 18, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Thousands of Allegheny County property owners are waiting for the county to hear their appeals of their court-mandated reassessments, including more than 15,000 who filed within the past four months.
County spokeswoman Amie Downs said that 1,132 appeals from last year are pending before the Board of Property Assessment Appeals and Reviews. More than 100,000 appeals were filed in 2012.
Homeowners filed 15,221 appeals between the beginning of the year and the April 1 deadline and are waiting to be scheduled for reviews, though that number may include “duplicate” appeals some owners filed seeking lower values and school districts or local governments seeking higher ones, Downs said. The county reopened the window for appeals in February, though property owners typically aren't allowed to appeal the year a reassessment takes effect.
Chris McElhiney was part of the most recent batch of appeals, filing on behalf of his mother, Stephanie McElhiney, 64, whose Fawn home was assessed at $80,000, up from $60,000. A neighboring house built about the same time recently sold for about $30,000, he said.
“She was diagnosed with cancer in January, she's on a fixed income. ... I guess she didn't realize it went up so much until she got her tax bill in the mail,” Chris McElhiney said. “I was really glad (for the deadline extension). Otherwise, we'd have never known about it and we'd have been stuck with the bill.”
Downtown attorney Kim Kisner said many of her clients who filed appeals this year either missed the first deadline or purchased properties last year for something vastly different from the assessed value. Those who paid less were trying to get their tax bills lowered; those who paid more found themselves defending their assessed values if their school district appealed to get a higher assessment based on the purchase price, she said.
“The first round of appeals took four or five months to come up, but I don't expect that with the second round because the volume is less,” Kisner said. “I'm telling my clients it's likely to be about three months.”
Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5625 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Patients nationwide die waiting as 1 in 5 kidneys rejected by doctors
- Officials identify Chartiers shooting victim as Wilkinsburg man
- Pope Francis inspires incredible optimism
- Film tax credits bill would bump up state budget
- Bethel Park man to receive degree from Pitt he earned 64 years ago
- Castle Shannon man accused of crashing way down Pittsburgh street
- 1 dead, 1 wounded in shooting at Chartiers party
- Newsmaker: Rosalind Ross
- South Fayette mother wants case against bullied son to be dropped
- Bullied South Fayette student’s case prompts wiretap overhaul legislation
- Man found fatally shot in Larimer a mile away from Homewood peace march