Legal Matters: Is Your Property Over-Assessed?

 By: Robert J. Iannozzi Jr.

School district real estate tax bills will be issued soon. Property owners this time of year seemingly breathe a collective sigh and begrudgingly pay their tax bills or pass them along at rote to their mortgage companies for payment. 

When is the last time, however, that you actually took the time to check your property’s assessment to ensure that your property is properly assessed and you’re being fairly taxed? If you’re like most people, you probably have not checked recently, if ever. 

In fact, you may have:

  1. Convinced yourself that your real estate tax bill “is what it is” and there is nothing you can do about it
  2. Been overwhelmed by the mere thought of looking at your county property record and filing an assessment appeal
  3. Never seriously considered checking and possibly filing an appeal, thinking the attendant appeal costs would far outweigh whatever assessment/tax reduction you may obtain.

If you fall into any (or all) of the above categories, I can help.

And I have good news: If you’re genuinely over-assessed, there is something you can do about it; you don’t need to do any of the heavy lifting in preparing and presenting your assessment appeal; and it won’t break the bank.

The crucial question, however, is whether your property is genuinely over-assessed? 

As a property owner you should have a general idea as to your property’s value. Things to consider: 

  • Did you recently purchase your home? 
  • Have neighboring properties similarly situated to yours recently sold? 
  • Do you have an appraisal that was conducted in the past few years? 
  • Have you recently searched your property online to ascertain its estimated value? 

If you have done any of these things or a combination, you have a general idea of your property’s value. Your property’s recent purchase, the recent sale of neighboring properties, and/or a recent appraisal of your property, however, are far more superior to an online search. A mere Google scan is not dispositive and often not fully reflective of actual value because of the limited nature and age of the information used to form the valuing algorithm.

Nonetheless, the first step in the process is having or getting a general idea as to your property’s value.

Once you have a general idea as to your property’s value, call me at 215-362-2474. The call is free. On the call, we’ll compare your opinion of value against your property’s market value as indicated by your current assessment. We’ll also discuss and consider other value-indicators including, if applicable, your recent purchase, recent sales of neighboring properties, and/or recent appraisals.

If upon my preliminarily analysis of the above value-indicators, it is determined your property may be over-assessed, we’ll do three things: 

  1. Have an appraiser review the value-indicators and advise if an assessment appeal is appropriate;
  2. If an appeal is deemed warranted, and you wish to file, we’ll discuss payment options and costs; and
  3. Discuss next steps in terms of obtaining a formal valuation of your property and the assessment appeal process, including the filing of the assessment appeal application, the hearing, and, if warranted, an appeal to Court.

So why not take some time to get a general idea as to your property’s value, and then give me a call so we can see if you’re over-assessed. Call me at 215-362-2474. Again, it will cost you nothing, and may possibly be the most profitable “free” call you ever make! I hope to hear from you.


The initial consultation is subject to a current representation conflict-check.

bob

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Bob Iannozzi Jr. is a partner at Dischell, Bartle Dooley, P.C. He concentrates his practice in the areas of zoning/land development, municipal government, and wills and estates. Iannozzi is a strong, protective advocate, with an attentive personal touch.

He represents municipalities, school districts, large and small commercial developers, residential property owners, and people who just need simple day-to-day legal assistance.

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