The information in this blog is intended for general information only. It should not be construed as formal legal advice, nor does it form an attorney-client relationship. There is no ongoing duty to update any of the posts.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

An initial step to take before deciding to file a tax appeal

Last week, I noted that there are two common situations (an overvalued property, or a catastrophic loss) in which you may wish to consider filing an appeal of your property taxes in Pennsylvania. In either case, there are some things that you must do before filing an appeal.

Particularly with a valuation appeal, it is critical that you do not file if you do not have a good chance of winning since, when you file a valuation appeal, the Board of Assessment can actually increase your assessment if it determines that your property is underassessed (assessed at less than its fair market value).

Before you file a tax appeal for a catastrophic loss, you must first determine if the damage to your property is more than 50% of its value. If your house burns down, the answer is obvious. However, if a tree falls through the roof, damaging one or two rooms, the answer is not so clear.

Similarly, with a valuation appeal, you must determine the fair market value of the property before deciding to appeal.

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