Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

Legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus.

1644 Posts and Counting

Washington County Pennsylvania Reassessment Appeals Begin

No. 1,273 If you are a landowner in Washington County, you probably received your notice of assessment.  You have 40 days to file an appeal. We went through this process in Allegheny County twice in the last decade.  The experience of Allegheny County should be helpful, but Washington County has some unique problems.  The Marcellus […]

Common Level Ratio for Real Estate Transfer in Allegheny County is 1.10 after July 1, 2014.

The Common Level Ratio, which is a multiplier for equalizing taxation of non-arms-length transactions throughout the Commonwealth, has been adjusted for the period of July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015. That means that if you are recording a deed with no consideration or a nominal consideration or which is exempt, you will most likely be required to file a Statement of Value that lists the assessed value.

Home Sweet Homestead.

No. 940 FYI: the City of Pittsburgh, the City School District and the County all have increased their Homestead exemptions.  If your assessment is low (like in the 20’s) your real estate taxes are going to be very, very low.  You may not be paying any school taxes at all. The City increased the Homestead […]

Assessment Appeals: Informal Review Results, Special Appeals and Late Appeals

No. 901 The results of the Informal Reviews were mailed during the week of August 6.  If you made an informal appeal, you should have received a notice in the mail.  Don’t look at the assessment blotter, however.  At least among the limited number I reviewed, changes had not been made. However, don’t bother to […]

Assessment Appeals: Look for Low Sales Prices that the Assessors Culled.

No. 898 Traditionally, assessors have culled sales prices that they think are too low to represent fair market value. In normal times, they may have been right. But not now. In the past four years, extreme low prices have been the market in many places — especially in lower priced areas.  But the trend extends […]

Unexpected Consequences Department: Negative Home Equity is Boosting Prices.

Properties under water stay off the market. This deprives non-selling owners of comparable sales at true market value — lower than the mortgage in many cases. Short sales and sales by banks are often culled by assessors as not being representative of the market. Sometimes they are wrong — those low values ARE the market.

Reassessment Appeal Tip

No. 876 If the comparable sales listed by Assessment are fairly far away, search for lower comps close at hand. Start by looking at every property on the street where the subject property is located.  Then try cross streets.  This is tip is especially helpful when the comps are in a better neighborhood than the […]

And now, the Common Level Ratio for Allegheny County is . . .

No. 870 The Dog Days of Summer came early; Temperatures will be in the upper 90’s all week; and The annual Common Level Ratio computations from the State Tax Equalization Board have been announced. Allegheny County stands still at 1.17.  That means that there has been only a 17% increase in the median sales price […]

The Assessment Picture Becomes More Complete.

No. 813 Yesterday, the South Hills 2013 assessment values were posted on the County’s website.  The Eastern suburbs were posted earlier.  With the majority of the County up, the big picture is starting to become clearer. Check out your assessment at this link. Take the new value and divide it by the old value.  If […]

Reassessment 2012: Watch out for the Flipper.

Flippers haven’t been much in evidence lately, but keep an eye out for their handiwork, because they can play havoc with assessment values.

keep looking »


CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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