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How To Appeal Your Property Assessment

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Some homeowners lined up in the county assessment office Thursday to seek an informal review while others like attorney Lloyd Welling filed for formal appeals.

"Mine personally tripled from my last year's assessment," he said. "I've had clients call me today that theirs has gone up five to six times last year's assessment."

Attorneys who fight assessments for a living say if you have any misgivings about your assessment, immediately file for the informal review process.

"The informal review process is a chance to meet with a county assessor and to look into the evidence used by that assessor in coming upon the assessment," Elizabeth Chiappetta with Robert Peirce & Associates said.

It also gives you a chance to bring with you to the hearing room evidence in your favor such as the number of bathrooms, fireplaces, central heat and air, the slope of your land and proof of the condition of your home such as damage. Take pictures.

You'll find out by mail if you got the assessment cut.

"Either side is then allowed to appeal if they are unsatisfied with what was determined at that informal review," Chiappetta said.

Don't wait for the result. Go ahead and file for a formal appeal. However, there's something to keep in mind if you get that far.

"You're also against the municipality of the City of Pittsburgh as well as the school district," Chiappetta said.

And they'll have attorneys there to protect their interest.

Meantime, keep an eye out for your tax bill.

"Unfortunately, while the appeal is pending you must pay the new tax bills under the new assessed rate," Chiappetta explained.

You'll then get a refund if you win.

When you're in the hearing room, you'll listen to the evidence they have on how they came up with your assessment. You'll present your evidence. Then it goes to a review team. Their decision will come to you in the mail.

Informal Appeal:
Deadline for City of Pittsburgh & Mount Oliver residents: January 13
Phone Number: 412-350-4600

Formal Appeal:
Phone Number: 412-350-4600

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