Frequently Asked Questions
Why hire an attorney? Can’t I do this on my own?
The school districts and municipalities will have legal counsel, so you need to make it a fair fight. There will be significant money at stake, probably over the course of many years. Retaining affordable representation with AAAL – Allegheny Attorneys At Law, P.C. is usually well worth the long-term savings in property taxes.
Additionally, if a property owner appears at a hearing, he or she may be cross-examined by the attorneys from the school district or municipality. Information about the details of your property, any improvements that have been made and previous appraisals may be used against you. These attorneys will even ask questions at the first hearing just to give them more information on appeal at the second hearing. For these reasons and many others, having an authorized representative appear on your behalf protects your interests.
Our office will diligently work to ensure that your taxes are fair and reasonable. Call today at (412) 426-3321 for your FREE consultation.
If the school district or the municipality filed an appeal against my property, should I attend?
You are not required to attend an appeal filed on your property by your school district or municipality. Further, as stated above, your attendance of an appeal hearing could be used against you. However, because the other parties are trying to increase your assessed value, it is in your interests to have legal counsel present to challenge the proceedings.
What is necessary for a hearing?
Our office will need the following documentation:
- A copy of any Hearing Notice or Assessment Notice.
- A signed Authorized Representative form.
- Specific information demonstrating the property’s value. At your hearing, we must be able to show that your property is worth what you say it is in 2012. We will do this by researching similar homes in your neighborhood, finding similar properties to yours that sold in 2012 or before, checking with local Realtors, and/or getting an appraisal with an effective date of January 1, 2012. It is recommended that you provide a copy of the sales comparables for your property from the Allegheny County Real Estate website to our office. Also, you can make arrangements with the public information center to obtain a property record card so that you can view the data characteristics the County has recorded for your property. If there are discrepancies, notify us before your hearing so that they can be corrected.
- Kindly note that the Hearing Officer retains all evidence presented at the hearing. Please make copies for your records.
Where may I get an annual appeal form?
The annual Assessment Appeal Form is available:
- Third floor of the County Office Building at 542 Forbes Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh, PA 15219.
- On the Property Appeal Forms web page: http://www.alleghenycounty.us/opa/aforms.aspx
- All municipal offices.
- All County-operated senior centers.
- All Allegheny County sponsored libraries
How do I know my Assessment Appeal form was received?
Contact the Office of Property Assessments Public Information Line at 412-350-4600 or you can check your property on the County real estate website to confirm receipt of your appeal form. See http://www2.county.allegheny.pa.us/RealEstate/
When and where does the Board of Appeals meet?
The Board of Property Assessment Appeals and Review meets every two weeks at 8:00 a.m. in Room 328 of the County Office Building at Forbes and Ross Streets in downtown Pittsburgh.