County government collects tax revenue from property owners based on the value of their property. Property tax assessments are determined by assessment officers who assign a value to the land and the structures thereon. This figure is different than, but based on, the fair market value of the property. The county uses this value to calculate how much you owe in property taxes.
If you have received a property tax assessment that is too high, you will be on the hook to pay more tax on your property than necessary. You have the right to appeal this assessment to reduce the recorded assessment figure, thereby lowering your property tax liability.
Eckell Sparks can help you appeal your property assessment, lower your property tax bill, and save you money. Our experienced lawyers will help you file your appeal and prepare for your appearance before Delaware County’s Board of Assessment Appeals. You will be required to bring documentation and photographs to make your case. We can help you with finding comparable properties and other market research to support your argument that the Board’s assessment is overvaluing your property.
In a nutshell, the steps to appeal your property tax are to know your assessment figures and the comps in your area. Compare the two to determine if you have a case. File your appeal. Receive a hearing date. Appear before the Board to make your case. Wait to hear back. Follow up, if necessary (see below).
You should appeal your taxes if you feel the assessed value of your property is too high based on the assessments of comparable properties. Keep in mind, however, that opening up your property for reassessment means that your assessed value has the potential to go up, increasing your taxes with it. So, do your research.
Property assessments can be appealed once a year. You can begin the process of appealing the assessed property value immediately upon receiving. Pay attention to deadlines. In Pennsylvania, your appeal must be filed within 90 days of the date on the official mailed notice. Specifically in Delaware County, however, the deadline is 30 days from the notice date. In the case of an interim assessment (such as after a new addition built), the cutoff is 40 days.
About three or four weeks after your appearance before the Board of Assessment Appeals you will receive a notice explaining the Board’s decision. If the Board does not agree with your argument for a reduced property valuation, some jurisdictions provide the option to appear before a certified panel of local taxpayers. If unsuccessful, you may even decide to take the case to trial.
If your appeal is approved, your records will show the new assessed value of your property and you will pay less on your property taxes.
If your property has been overvalued, you are urged to speak to the Delaware County real estate lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. We have the experience and know-how to back up your claim for a reduced tax assessment on your property. Schedule a free consultation by calling 610-565-3700 or submit an online contact form. With offices in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we work with property owners throughout Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.