Questions and Answers regarding the role of Weinstein Realty Consultants as your property tax consultant for properties located in Pennsylvania:
How is it determined if my property is over-assessed?
By researching your property and by reviewing your property tax bill and other pertinent data. If it is determined that an appeal is warranted (recognizing that not all properties are over-assessed), we will meet with you to discuss the merits of a formal tax assessment appeal.
How long does an appeal take?
It depends. Tax appeals throughout Pennsylvania are generally heard in the Fall for the following calendar year (September or October). The appeal process is generally quasi-judicial in its nature. Once the appeal is heard, a decision is usually rendered before the end of the respective year, but depending upon the number of other cases heard, it may extend into the following year.
• If the county’s decision is agreeable the appeal would be considered accepted and no further action would be warranted.
• If the decision is not acceptable, the appeal would be pursued through all available legal channels through the Court of Common Pleas. This process has a longer time period and depending upon the specific county’s judicial case load (for all types of court cases), an appeal could be scheduled for court within a few months to a few years.
What is the typical process of litigating tax assessment appeals?
Although most tax assessment appeal cases need to be litigated, the probability of actually proceeding to court is very minimal. Litigation becomes a necessary part of the tax appeal process in order to properly posture the negotiations.
If I have such a strong tax assessment appeal, why may it be litigated?
The reality of tax assessment appeals is that the stronger the merits of the appeal, the more likely the appeal may be litigated. Clearly, if a substantial reduction is in order, then the effect of your reduction is reduced income to the respective county, school district and municipality. School districts have the legal right to intervene on all tax assessment appeals, as they are the largest recipient of real estate taxes. School districts most often choose to exercise this legal right.
Can real estate assessment appeals be retroactive or apply to the current year?
No. Real estate assessment law in Pennsylvania only permits tax assessment appeals to be effective for the subsequent year. There is no legal right to appeal past or current real estate assessments.
If the assessment appeal is resolved at the Board of Assessment Appeals, when will the reduction be effective?
The reduction will affect the county/municipal tax bill for the following calendar year and the following July 1– June 30th school tax bill.
If the assessment appeal is not resolved at the Board of Assessment Appeals and needs to be litigated, when will the reduction be effective?
The reduction will also affect the county/ municipal tax bill for the following calendar year and the following July 1– June 30 school tax bill. Should the litigation process proceed into the subsequent year(s), as is most likely to occur, this reduction will be retroactive to January 1 of the respective year of the appeal.
We hope these questions and answers outline the benefit of having Weinstein Realty Consultants as your tax assessment appeal consultant. We look forward to assisting your company in achieving an equitable real estate assessment and the resulting effective real estate taxes for your property.