Residential Tax Assessment Appeals

March 15, 2019

Delaware County Real Estate Lawyers discuss residential tax assessment appeals.The Delaware County Tax Reassessment Project, initiated in March 2017, commenced in November with mailers being distributed to residential property owners in several municipalities. The reassessment results will apply for the 2021 tax year and may significantly increase the taxes property owners will have to pay.

When homeowners receive the new assessments, they may feel that the information is incorrect and unfairly costing them much more than they anticipated. Owners may believe that they have no recourse and must settle on the amount established, but with the help of a Delaware County real estate lawyer, appealing to the tax assessor is possible and may ultimately reduce the reassessment value.

According to recent statistics, tax assessors overvalue about 60 percent of residential properties. Only two percent of homeowners file appeals to reassess their properties even if easily corrected mistakes caused the home’s assessed value to rise. Although no specific reason accompanies these percentages, it is possible that homeowners may believe that they cannot “fight city hall” despite their frustration. If numerous houses in various neighborhoods are overvalued, homeowners should make every effort to appeal.

Options for Appealing

Many options exist for homeowners who wish to appeal a residential tax assessment. Remember that homeowners have 30 days to appeal a reassessment. The following options may help in appealing a home assessment:

  • Review Property Description – The tax assessment that is sent out includes the square footage of a home, how many bedrooms and bathrooms it contains, and the acreage of the property. Review the information carefully and ensure that it is correct. If there are errors such as too many bedrooms, the tax assessor should be informed before the next tax period.
  • Inquire About Exemptions – Homeowners may not realize that applying for an exemption if eligible will bring down the assessment rate. Senior citizens, veterans, and disabled persons may be able to take advantage of tax breaks.
  • Gauge Market Value – Contact a local real estate agent to find comparable homes in the neighborhood to identify how much the tax assessor values similar residences. The agent may require a nominal fee, but this may support the argument that the assessment may be inaccurate and save money.
  • Get New Real Estate Appraisal – Although a new appraisal may be expensive, it may be the best option when appealing a tax assessment of the home. An appraiser will accurately assess the home and the documentation will be solid proof that the assessment may be incorrect.

A tax reassessment of a home may not ring true, and if it remains inaccurate a homeowner will be responsible for paying more taxes than necessary. Chances that the property will be assessed at a higher rate are rare, but the potential is there, so consider appealing only when enough evidence exists to support the case. Hiring a lawyer to advocate for a tax reassessment appeal will streamline the process.

Delaware County Real Estate Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Successfully Appeal Tax Reassessments for Homeowners

If you believe that the tax assessment of your home is incorrect or inaccurate, the experienced Delaware County real estate Lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. will review your case. Our reputation for success in negotiating real estate transactions such as tax reassessment appeals speaks for itself. Call us at 610-565-3701 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We proudly serve clients in Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County from our offices in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania.