Appealing for clarity
Great fanfare accompanied the recent enactment of an Allegheny County ordinance which extended the deadline to file a formal property tax assessment appeal to, ironically, April 1, 2013. Yet the ordinance does not specify which residents this applies to — does it mean we get a new chance at a formal appeal even if we have already had one? Nor does it create any mechanism — no new form, no website — through which an owner may appeal. The 2013 appeals forms have long been withdrawn by the Board of Property Assessment Appeals and Review (BPAAR).
I called County Council, the BPAAR and the county executive's office to seek clarification. The consensus seems to be that everyone who has not appealed up to the Board of Viewers gets a new chance to appeal their 2013 assessments. But nobody knows for sure, and a representative from the county executive's office even said that they are “waiting for more clarification.” The BPAAR representative said they have not made available forms that allow an appeal through this new ordinance.
So now, Allegheny County citizens apparently have a law which may or may not give property owners a new stab at their assessments. And owners also have no way to do so.
Continued gaffes about our property-tax appeals such as these make our county the laughingstock of our commonwealth. Allegheny County citizens deserve better than to be made into April fools.
The writer is an attorney whose solo private practice handles property assessment appeals including his own.
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.
- Board’s-eye view
- Reward good service
- Ask for help; don’t steal
- Fostering young scientists
- Thanks for the support
- Majority defied
- Hiring in Westmoreland I
- Positive & healthy ...
- ‘Trust’ in God
- Goodell’s ‘pick-six’
- Shocking Lio