Those who pay property tax in Pennsylvania have an annual opportunity to appeal the assessed value of property. Deadlines for these appeals vary by county, but most are either August 1 or September 1, so now is the time to analyze your assessment to determine whether you may be able to have it lowered to reduce your tax burden. In order to properly analyze your assessment, you must have an idea of what your property is actually worth. That is, what is the price that you would be able to sell it to a willing buyer? Once you have made that determination, you must then apply your county’s applicable common level ratio to your assessed value in order to determine the “implied market value.” If the “implied market value” from your assessment is higher than what you believe your property is worth, your assessment is likely too high and you are paying more property tax than is warranted.
In this economy, many property owners are experiencing issues that result in a lowering of property values. For instance, landlords may be experiencing higher than normal vacancy rates, for prolonged periods of time, which will affect the value of property. Those who own factories may be facing factors relating to obsolescence. Property owners may own property in blighted areas that have seen dramatic decreases in property values since the last revaluation. Regardless of context, all property owners should examine assessments annually to make sure they are in line with fair market value.