County announces efforts to assist property owners with assessments
County Executive Rich Fitzgerald has announced further efforts to assist property owners with the 2013 court-ordered reassessment.
These initiatives include website improvements, data correction by phone, remote locations for informal reviews, and town hall meetings. The county has created a simplified page, http://www.alleghenycounty.us/courtreassess.aspx, which directs property owners to the information they need regarding the 2013 court-ordered reassessment. The choices on the page are:
• Get Information on 2012 Base Year (Current) Values - Pay taxes online, view current building information, images and comparables.
• Get Information on 2013 Court-Ordered Reassessment Values - view updated building information, images and comparables.
• Download Formal Appeal Forms.
• Read Court-Ordered Reassessment FAQs.
• Schedule an Informal Review or Submit Corrections to Property Characteristics.
• Find Out when the Court-Ordered Reassessment Notice of 2013 market value will be sent.
The county has also improved the online method of correcting property characteristics for the 2013 court-ordered reassessment. Once property owners have located their parcels on the 2013 Court-Ordered Reassessment Values website, they may review tabs that provide general information, building information, and image. If corrections are needed, they may click a button that brings up a fill-in form.
Property owners without access to a computer may call 412-350-4600 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m ., Monday through Friday, to submit corrections to their property characteristics.
To provide more convenience to property owners, the county is expanding the locations where informal reviews are held to include the four Kane Regional Centers. The four locations are Glen Hazel (955 Rivermont Drive, Pittsburgh), Scott (300 Kane Boulevard, Scott Twp.), Ross (110 McIntyre Road, Ross Twp.) and McKeesport (100 Ninth Street, McKeesport). Scheduling may be requested now for these sites, but the actual informal reviews will not begin until this week.
Arrangements are also being made to provide for evening and weekend hours at the Lexington Technology Center (400 North Lexington Street, Pittsburgh).
An informal review is a one-on-one meeting between a property owner and a representative of the Office of Property Assessments to discuss information on a property's characteristics and 2013 court-ordered reassessment value. Representatives from municipalities and school districts are not present at informal reviews. Property owners may provide corrections to property characteristics and bring pictures and written documentation supporting a change in their 2013 court-ordered reassessment value.
Property owners are reminded corrections to property characteristics do not automatically result in value changes, and in some cases, a county assessor may visit a property to verify data and may adjust the value up or down based on what he or she observes.
County Executive Fitzgerald and County Council will be hosting town hall meetings beginning in March. The sessions will include a presentation on the assessment process and what information and tools homeowners should use to argue their values. Additionally, there will be a Q & A session, work stations to help attendees complete appeal forms and Act 50 forms, and one-on-one assistance with attorneys and real estate professionals.
There will be one town hall meeting per County Council district to begin with, and then additional requests for "help" sessions at libraries, municipal buildings, senior centers, and other organizations will be scheduled.
To date, 25 municipalities and school districts have joined County Executive Fitzgerald's "Fight the Fight" effort by passing resolutions that oppose the on-going court-ordered reassessment and call upon the Governor and General Assembly to impose a moratorium on singled-out, court-ordered county reassessments until there is a state-wide law that provides uniformity among all counties in the Commonwealth.