Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

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

1410 Posts and Counting

Reassessment 2012: Does Rich Fitzgerald Really Believe His Own Message?

No. 787 According to today’s Post Gazette, Rich Fitzgerald says that he will let the current reassessment go through once there is a uniform statewide reassessment program. He says it is unfair for Allegheny County to have assessments based upon current sales data, while the other counties use historic data that, in some cases, is […]

Reassessment 2012: Show Me the Comps!

All is quiet, for the moment. Informal hearings have been cancelled. The County has certified the 2002 values. But that will probably not stand. Judge Wettick has ordered a number of senior staff of the County Assessment Office to comply with his prior orders, setting the stage for a contempt citation that includes a larger group than County Executive Fitzgerald. And so we wait.

Reassessment 2012: Land Value is Meaningless.

No. 783 I have been hearing from clients with properties in the City that their building values seem reasonable (or even went down) but the land values have soared, making the total much higher.  Be aware that the total value is the only number that counts.  Nobody buys land and buildings separately.  Assuming that there […]

Reassessment 2012: Fudge Factor?

No. 780 Just a thought: Is the increase in the land component of assessments a way to fudge assessment increases in neighborhoods or locations where the assessors think values should be rising? If so, don’t accept any fudge that is half-baked. [Apologies to King’s Family Restaurant  for the photo.]   CLT  

Reassessment 2012: Give Me Land Lots of Land — well, not so much.

No. 779 We’re hearing that the assessors have been increasing the land value in the City on some properties much more than the value of improvements. I saw one today where the building value of a four unit apartment building went down a significant amount but was more than offset by an enormous increase in […]

Reassessment 2012: What About All Those Sheriff Sale Properties?

No. 778 From all reports, the assessment notices that started arriving in City and Mt Oliver mailboxes yesterday were full of assessment values that are double and triple the 2002 numbers.  With all of the sheriff sale properties on the market, how can this be?  Good question. The Sheriff’s deed, which frequently represent a very […]

Reassessment of the Reassessment by Fitzgerald — Too Little, Too Late?

No. 777 When we wrote “Christmas Reassessment” (below at No. 774) we gave Rich Fitzgerald credit for being shrewd enough to pass a one mill tax increase this year — before the assessment year in which increases would be limited to 105% of the prior year, at least in theory, by Act 146. However, to listen […]

Christmas Reassessment

No. 774 The County Assessors really do have a heart.  They tried to keep from delivering the first batch of reassessment notices  before Christmas.  But Judge Wettick would have none of it. I must admit, I didn’t initially give Rich Fitzgerald credit for shrewd thinking.  It was puzzling that the County Council rushed to pass […]

The Premature Millage Increase.

It must have seemed to the Democrats on County Council that the City voters’ willingness to appropriate a quarter mill tax increase for the Carnegie Library signaled a new era when it was okay to raise taxes. With the election less than a week behind them, they apparently lined up a majority for a one mill County tax increase.

Wettick Suggests Possible Two Step Introduction of 2012 Reassessment.

Judge Stanton Wettick, who is supervising the implementation of the 2012 reassessment that he has ordered, asked the County assessors to report on what would be the outcome if the reassessment effort were concentrated on the City of Pittsburgh and Mt. Oliver (which is part of the City School District) first.

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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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