Property reassessments hit South Side homes hard
— Homes double, triple and more in assessed value —
Shock and awe could describe South Side homeowners last week when they received their new court ordered property assessments.
City and Mount Oliver homeowners were the first in the county to receive the reassessments ordered by Common Pleas Court Judge R. Stanton Wettick Jr. Reassessment notices for commercial properties will come at a later date.
A quick check of the Allegheny County Property Assessment website, http://www2.county.allegheny.pa.us/RealEstate/Default.aspx, showed South Side property values doubling, tripling and more. One Sidney Street house checked increased more than 10-fold going from a 2011 assessment of $23,900 to $258,500.
Although the assessments are out, it could be several weeks before tax bills come out after the city and school district set their millage rates. The millage may have to be reduced in order for the city and school district to not violate state anti-windfall laws.
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has stated the city won't violate the anti-windfall rules and may have to adjust its millage rates and homestead tax exemption to remain at 2011 levels. The city is planning on getting $127 million in property taxes, an increase of $2 million over last year.
"We're all in the same boat," said Councilman Bruce Kraus whose 18th Street house saw an increase in assessed value from $63,400 in 2011 to $173,500 for 2012.
Mr. Kraus, who is planning to appeal his assessment, encouraged those with excessive reassessments to file appeals saying "we'll fight the battle together." In the coming weeks he hopes to have several town meetings, in South Side and on the Hilltop, to help with appeals.
Homeowners have until January 13 to file an informal appeal. The appeal may be scheduled by calling 412-350-4600 or by going to http://apps.alleghenycounty.us/InformalReviews. Homeowners will need to enter their Parcel ID and Control ID on the website to schedule an appeal. Walk-ins will not be accepted at the informal reviews.
Those who scheduled an informal appeal and are unable to make it are permitted to request one postponement at least three days in advance of the appointment using the same telephone number or web address. Those who fail to attend their scheduled informal review without a timely request for a postponement will have to file a 2012 formal appeal by February 10.
Those who would like to seek a formal review of their reassessment have until February 10. The formal review may be scheduled by calling 412-350-4600 or by visiting www.alleghenycounty.us/opa/aforms.aspx and downloading the appeals form.
The appeals form is also available through Councilman Kraus' office by calling 412-255-2130 or his satellite office at 412-431-1014. The form will be mailed out to those requesting one.
The councilman said he and his staff will be available for those needing help filling out the form.
Help is also available by calling the city's 311 help line.