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 610-565-3701 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.
A Message to Our Customers About Coronavirus COVID-19:
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We want to assure everyone that during this unprecedented and difficult time, we are still operating and will continue to meet all the legal needs of the residents of the Delaware Valley. While the Governor’s recent orders have restricted our ability to maintain and run our physical offices, Eckell Sparks has deployed a variety of applications and hardware that allows both our attorneys and our support staff to work remotely from home, prepare legal documents, confer with clients remotely, and provide consultations to those seeking legal advice. For more than 50 years, our Firm has been a force in the Delaware Valley legal community. And by leveraging technology, we will continue to do so both during, and after, the current public health emergency.
So, if you need us, we are here. Do you have a question about whether it’s more beneficial to file your taxes by April 15, despite the postponement of the filing deadlines? Are you an employer and don’t know what to do under all the new Corona-virus laws being passed in Washington? Were you injured in a car accident either before, or during, the current crisis? Call or email us. We can help. www.eckellsparks.com 610-565-3700.
Stay safe out there.