Challenge Inaccurate Assessments in Washington County
Decades of Experience from Our Pittsburgh Real Estate Lawyers
As a Washington County property owner, you aren't used to This. Until 2015, county officials hadn't reassessed the value of all of the real estate parcels in the county since 1981. But in 2015, the county began a process for such reassessments — and if yours is inaccurate, it could end up costing you a lot more in taxes than you should really have to pay.
At the law office of Robert Peirce & Associates, P.C., our Pittsburgh real estate lawyers have proven experience in helping clients make effective challenges to unfairly high property assessments. We encourage you to give us a call to arrange a no-cost consultation about your specific situation.
How Does The Assessment Process Work?
Washington County has hired a vendor called Tyler Technologies to gather data about all of the more than 100,000 real estate parcels in the county. The data is to be used in reassessing the value of those parcels for property tax purposes. It's been 30-some years since the county conducted a complete reassessment such as this.
To be sure, an increase in the assessment value doesn't immediately mean a tax increase. But the county, your municipality and your school district will eventually all be looking at the new assessed value when they compute your property taxes. This is true for both residential and commercial property.
It is therefore important to protect your interest in a fair assessment process. Otherwise, when the county "adjusts the millage" (i.e., computes your property taxes), you could end up paying more than your fair share. Our law firm can guide you through the process of challenging an unfair assessment.
Tyler Technologies is the same firm that created such controversy and animosity during the reassessment of Allegheny County properties a few years ago. During the Allegheny County reassessment in 2012-2013, we represented approximately 2,000 property owners, including over 100 commercial property owners, who were unfairly assessed by Tyler Technologies and were able to obtain significant reductions in almost every case. As an example of their inaccuracy, a local country club was reassessed at $58,000,000, and we were able to reduce the assessment to $4,500,000. We also discovered hundreds of examples where residential homeowners were over-assessed base upon wrong data and irrelevant comparable sales.
Formal Versus Informal Challenges
Challenges to property valuations in Washington County can be formal or informal. The first level of challenge is informal, and that occurred in February 2016.
But there is also an opportunity to formally appeal a valuation. That process will begin as of July 1, 2016. It will involve county-appointed assessment appeals boards.
When property is reassessed, inequities can occur because assessors rely too much on subjective factors regarding the condition or quality of your property. We can help you challenge an unfairly high assessment. And if it comes to that, it is possible to seek a refund of the additional taxes you had to pay.
Get Started Now On Your Appeal
Our law firm offers a free consultation in property tax assessment cases. In fact, we will do the work on a contingency basis. This means you won't owe us a fee unless we can get your assessment reduced.
Call (844) 383-0565 or complete our online form. Our Washington County real estate lawyers are committed to providing you with the help you need.