We charge the option of either a contingency fee or a flat fee fixed option. For over 20 years, our Pittsburgh law firm has received hundreds, if not thousands of referrals from satisfied tax appeal clients. We have represented some the of the largest commercial property owners in Western Pennsylvania as well as senior citizens living on a fixed income. Our success has been based on not only treating each and every case the same regardless of the fee structure chosen but also making sure we charge a fair fee for everyone. We understand that tax appeals are a word-of-mouth business, and unless your clients are satisfied, you cannot establish a lengthy professional relationship or years of countless referrals.
We take pride in offering a fair fee system for our tax appeal clients. We typically like to provide clients with fee options for their tax appeal by offering either contingency or flat fee agreements. We analyze every single case first, before offering representation or a proposed fee. We believe this helps ensure that legal fees are not quoted unless we truly believe there will be a financial savings to our clients and hopefully referrals in the future.
Please note that we do not accept all cases, but do offer free consultations on all cases and are happy to review and provide our opinion.
The contingency fee covers the ENTIRE appeal process. If the property owner files the initial appeal, the contingency fee agreement means that we do not receive a legal fee unless we are successful in reducing the owner’s property taxes. Our contingency fees vary depending upon the case, but typically we quote 40% to 50% of the savings for ONLY the year(s) under appeal. This means, if we are successful, and save a property owner $5,000.00 per year in property taxes, then our fee would be 40% to 50% of the savings ($2,000.00 to $2,500.00). We only charge for the year(s) under appeal and the property owner continues to benefit from these savings in future years with no fee. We do review each case first, and then quote a contingency fee if we believe is fair for both the client and us.
Also, many of these appeals may extend into multiple years, and it is important to know whether or not you will be charged for a year which is not under appeal. Some law firms may actually charge for future years after your appeal has ended. We NEVER charge for a year which is not under appeal. It is important that property owners understand the contingency fee structure that has been offered before hiring an attorney for their appeal.
In the alternative, we also often quote flat fees for our representation. This flat fee option also covers the ENTIRE appeal process. Flat fees are quoted on a case by case basis and are a smart financial option for clients with significant property taxes at stake.
Before retaining an attorney, property owners should confirm that any and all hearings and appeals are covered by a flat fee representation. Many property owners will call us stating that other lawyers charged them for a hearing and now want to charge more for the second appeal level. This never happens with us.
Once retained, we handle the case from beginning to end, and keep you promptly informed of the status of your case. Our representation under both fee options includes both the formal hearing, and the Board of Viewers hearing (if necessary) for any and all years under appeal regardless of the amount of savings. Our fees also include any actual trial or litigation necessary at the Board of Viewers. We believe our experience with actual courtroom litigation of these cases is an advantage for our clients, and if you choose a flat fee, all of our trial time is covered. Our flat fee does not cover the appeal filing fee if we have to appeal to the BOV ($135.25 presently). This fee only applies if the owner appeals to second level BOV.
It is important to note that we do not accept all cases and only represent a property owner once there is a signed fee agreement in place. We work hard to advise clients whether or not it makes sense financially to retain our services and client satisfaction is our primary objective.
When determining who to hire for handling your property tax appeal, of course cost is important, but you need to make sure you understand the difference a lower assessment actually saves in property taxes. A good rule of thumb in Allegheny County is that every property pays about $3K per year in total taxes for every $100K the property is assessed. Of course some are higher and a few lower, but as a general rule of thumb, every $10K in assessment difference equals about $300/year in actual taxes.
If you need more exact detail, this Property tax calculator is a good tool for estimating property taxes and understanding the actual tax differences based upon an assessment change. Here are links to the Municipal millage rates and School district millage rates for Allegheny County.
If you would like a free consultation and quote on a potential tax appeal in Allegheny County , please complete the form below or call attorneys Noah Paul Fardo or Nicole Hauptman Amick directly at 412.802.6666 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
READ: Top Allegheny County property assessment FAQ’s. If you really wish to understand the Allegheny County assessment process in more detail.