We’re talking about the most recent in a series of mistakes and failings by the Allegheny County treasurer and what property owners can do to protect themselves.

Allegheny County Sends Wrong Tax Bills

opps post it note wrong tax bill

The Allegheny County treasurer has made yet another blunder concerning the 2013 property tax reassessments. A blunder that is leaving thousands of property owners once again frustrated about the tax appeals process.

This time, the Allegheny County treasurer sent out almost 600,000 property tax bills and, apparently, has ignored tax appeal results from as far back as December 2012 -- or even earlier.

This means that property owners who actually won their appeals are not receiving accurate property tax bills for 2013.

If we all recall, the purpose of conducting the reassessments last year (in 2012) was so that property owners could appeal their new assessments before the property taxes were actually due.

Over the last two weeks, our office has been inundated with calls and emails from clients who won their appeal and yet are still being billed at the original 2013 assessment amount. The same is happening to colleagues that we have spoken with.

When we researched why this was happening it seems that the Allegheny County treasurer is updating the assessment site in a reasonable fashion, but there is still a delay between the assessment office and the Allegheny County treasurer’s office.

In short, even cases that have been updated with correct property assessments on the county website in January are still receiving the wrong property tax bill in March.

A nominal delay between the final decision of a tax appeal and the bill itself might be acceptable. What we have found, however, is that there are numerous cases that were resolved months ago that still do not have the correct tax bills.

The Allegheny County treasurer needs to immediately implement a system that once an appeal is finalized, the Allegheny County treasurer’s office is also updated.

What Should Property Owners Do?

calculator property owner tax appeal options

If you won your tax appeal, and are receiving an incorrect tax bill, you basically have 3 options:

1. You can pay on the higher (incorrect) amount, and then wait for a refund from the Allegheny County treasurer. The refund process typically takes 60 to 120 days or longer and seems manifestly unjust under the circumstances.

2. You can contact the Allegheny County treasurer’s office (412.350.4100) and ask them to send you the correct bill. Of course, you may or may not need to send documentation of the reduction.

3. The course of action which we are recommending to our clients is to only pay on the reduced (correct) amount and attach a copy of the recent decision to the tax bill when you send it in to the Allegheny County treasurer.

Be careful about the tax exemptions which may or may not affect the property, and if you have any questions, please feel free to call us.

If you have any additional questions about property assessments, or would like a free consultation about your property tax appeal case, please feel free to contact us.