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City has help for residents appealing their assessments

 

February 21, 2012



City residents who need help appealing their 2012 property reassessment are urged to call the city's 311 Response Line.

Customer service representatives are scheduling residents with one-on-one appeal assistance such as help filling out appeal and tax relief forms, low-cost appraisals and legal support as residents prepare for their appeal hearing. The deadline to file a formal appeal is April 2. The court ordered this year's reassessment values to be used for next year's tax bills, but those values must be appealed this year.

"Property owners must challenge any unfair or inaccurate reassessment soon – and the city is going to give you every possible tool to make this frustrating appeal process easier for you," Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said. "All residents have to do is call 3-1-1 and city employees will come to the neighborhood senior center nearest you with help and support."

The Mayor's Office has been working collaboratively with City Council and the Controller's Office to coordinate the aggressive appeal assistance plan. Together, city employees will be deployed to neighborhood senior centers to meet one-on-one with residents. The Duquesne Law Clinic will be assisting the Controller's Office in providing legal help.

To qualify for assistance, the residents' property must be located within the City of Pittsburgh and must be a primary, owner-occupied, single-family residential property. In addition, the old assessment value for the property must be under $150,000. City residents aged 65 and older are not subject to the $150,000 requirement.

Through a competitive process, the city negotiated a $250 appraisal rate, which is a fraction of today's average appraisal cost. The city will subsidize half of that, so a qualifying property owner will pay $125 for an appraisal.

The Pittsburgh Parking Authority will be providing free parking for city residents who come Downtown for their scheduled counseling session, informal review or formal appeal hearing. Residents can park for free at the authority's Second Avenue lot, then use the shuttle service to the County Office Building on Grant Street, where appeal hearings are being held. Photo ID will be required when entering the parking lot.

 

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