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Informal Appeals Back On For City, Mt. Oliver Homeowners

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- There are winners and losers in this reassessment and those who feel they've been socked by an unfairly high value will most likely appeal.

But what about those who have seen their valuation go down?

They would seem to have no reason to appeal, but attorney Don Driscoll says they should appeal their current property values because they could get an immediate reduction in their taxes.

"They can if they know to do it, but no one's being informed," he said.

Driscoll says those who have seen a reduction in their assessment or only a slight increase should file for an appeal as soon as possible -- that they could see a reduction in their taxes this year.

The technical provision is called a common level ratio -- but basically it means that previously over-assessed property owners are entitled to a tax break by appealing their current assessment and comparing that to the new lower one.

Drsicoll says those property owners will get a 15 percent tax reduction with few questions asked.

"It would benefit this year everyone whose property value went down since 2002 or only increased modestly by up to approximately 15 percent," he explained.

And under letter being sent out now -- all city and Mt. Oliver property owners are being told that the canceled informal appeals are now back on. Tens of thousands are expected to reschedule.

So come Monday, phones will be ringing off the hook and people will be lining up again for their informal appeals as this whole process gets ramped up again.

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