Over the Independence Day weekend, like many other Indiana County property owners, I received my notice of property tax reassessment in the mail. Just like many of you, my property taxes increased by about 35% effective for the 2016 tax year.
Many Indiana County property owners were surprised by the reassessment. My office has been fielding calls all week from taxpayers about challenging their new assessed value. How do appeals work? The appeal process for reassessed values in Indiana County is three steps:
1. An informal review at the Reassessment Center, which has been set up at the Indiana Mall. Many clerical errors or problems with your property description can be taken care of at this stage. You do not need the presence of an attorney at the informal review, but you may want to consult with one prior to attending.
Prior to the informal review, you should look at your property description and other detailed information on the Assessment Office Reassessment Website (Click “Courthouse Online” and enter the Control No. and Password provided on your reassessment notice.
2. A formal appeal Before the Indiana County Board of Assessment. At the formal appeal you will present a proposed value for the property and evidence, such as appraisals or photographs, to support that value. You must request a formal appeal by August 10, 2015. It is a good idea to be represented by an attorney at a formal appeal.
3. An appeal to the Court of Common Pleas. If you are unhappy with the board’s decision, you can appeal to a Common Pleas judge. The judge will schedule the case for a hearing. It is imperative (although not required) that you have an attorney at this stage. Many times, a negotiated settlement can be reached at the pre-trial conference.
If you have questions about appealing the reassessed value of your real estate, feel free to call my office at 724-465-5826 or contact me via this website or email.
Remember: Formal Appeals must be filed by August 10, 2015.