Allegheny County Real Estate Assessments

Allegheny County Real Estate Assessments

Allegheny County real estate assessments are not particularly accurate. Most property owners appear to be okay with current assessments, but longtime homeowners are wary of efforts to get the numbers right. There is one good thing about the county’s real estate tax, however, which is a transparent, easy-to-understand tax. Assessments are computed annually and published on the county’s website.

Homestead/Farmstead

Allegheny County, PA has a Homestead/Farmstead law that can help you save on property taxes. Applicants can submit an application for Homestead/Farmstead status with the Allegheny County Office of Property Assessment. To qualify for Homestead/Farmstead status, the taxpayer must own the property as their primary residence. The application does not have to be renewed each year unless there is a change of ownership of the property.

Allegheny County also allows people to claim homestead exemptions on mixed-use parcels. For example, if a dentist practices on the top floor of a building, the dentist can claim the homestead exclusion on that building as his or her primary residence. In addition, homestead exemptions are available to war veterans. If a war veteran is 100% service-connected or honorably discharged, he or she can qualify for a homestead exemption on their primary residence in Allegheny County.

Common Level Ratio

The Common Level Ratio of Alleghen county real estate is a measure of how much property is worth relative to its assessed value. The State Tax Equalization Board calculates the Common Level Ratio for each county by taking a representative sample of recorded sales to determine the average property value. The ratio represents the relationship between assessed value and fair market value.

The common level ratio is a number derived from sales data and is the breakpoint for increased property assessment. The ratios are officially determined by the State Tax Equalization Board and are a key tool in the assessment appeals process. Currently, the CLR for Allegheny County is based on data collected in 2021. This data will be used for assessment appeals from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023.

Assessment freeze

There has been a recent assessment freeze in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. The freeze was declared illegal by a judge and is now a matter for the county to prepare a new assessment plan. As a result, property owners will have to pay an additional 2 percent for their real estate assessments. The freeze has cost the county an estimated $23.9 million.

The underlying problem is the use of the 2002 base year as a method of calculating property values. Because of the disparity between the two years, Allegheny County real estate assessments are not consistent with those in other counties. This causes a taxpayer revolt, resulting in Republicans freezing assessments for five years. In response, six homeowners file suit against the freeze.

Tax appeals

If you have questions about your property tax assessment, you can file a tax appeal with the Allegheny County Assessor’s Office. Appeals in real estate tax cases can take as long as 3 years to complete. In Allegheny County, property owners have the right to file a formal appeal every year between January 1 and March 31. The appeal process is divided into two main stages. First, an assessment appeal goes before the Board of Property Assessment & Review. Second, an appeal from a BPAAR proceeding moves to the Board of Viewers. These two processes can take up to 1 to 3 years, and they are both retroactive to the date of filing.

The primary issue in current appeals is the fair market value of the property. The fair market value is calculated either for the current year (2021) or a base year of January 1, 2012. The appellant can choose either approach during the hearing.

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