Fighting a Tax Assessment in Philadelphia

Fighting a tax assessment in Philadelphia can be a challenging task; however, it may be a necessary one. If you received your Philadelphia property tax assessment and you are less than pleased with the number, you may be left wondering, should I dispute my property taxes? The answer may be yes. This post will detail whether or not it is worth fighting your Philadelphia property tax assessment or not, and the steps to do so. 

If you need a second opinion when it comes to the value of your property, contact Home Appraising Group today at (215) 531-7979. Our team of expert appraisers may be able to help you fight your tax assessment. 

How Do You Dispute Philadelphia Property Taxes?

Fighting your Philadelphia property taxes can be a confusing and overwhelming process. Not only are there multiple steps, but there are also a lot of things to think about and consider as you plan to dispute your Philadelphia property tax assessment. If you are a property owner and you believe that the assessed value of your property is incorrect, you should consider filing an appeal. 

Here is what you need to know about disputing your property tax assessment in the city of Philadelphia.

Step 1: You Need to Request a First Level Review (FLR)

After you have decided that you want to dispute your Philadelphia property tax assessment, you will need to request a first-level review, FLR. You will fill out an FLR form and attach any other documents that you believe will help in your potential appeal, such as photos or other recent appraisals. 

After an Evaluator takes a look at your FLR, he or she will decide whether or not to decrease your property’s appraised value, keep it the same, or in some cases, increase it. 

If you are still not pleased with your property’s appraisal value after your FLR, you can file a formal appeal. 

Step 2: File a Formal Appeal with the Board of Revision Taxes

The second step of disputing your property taxes is filing a formal appeal with the Board of Revision Taxes, BTR. An appeal application must be filed before the first Monday of October of the year; it can be submitted via mail or in person at The Curtis Center located at 601 Walnut Street, Suite 325 East, Philadelphia, PA 19106.  

Is It Worth it To Appeal Property Taxes?

There are various reasons why a person may want to appeal their property taxes, including:

  • The estimated value of your property is either too low or too high
  • The estimated value of your property is not the same or close to surrounding property values
  • The characteristics of your property that impact its value are  incorrect

If you believe any of the above has impacted your property value, it will be worth your while to fill out an appeal form and begin disputing your Philadelphia property tax assessment.

Who Qualifies to Make an Appeal?

It’s important to know if you will qualify for an appeal or not, and those that do qualify for an appeal are people that are considered “aggrieved parties.”

Who are “Aggrieved Parties?”

Aggrieved parties can be a few different kinds of people, including: 

  • An owner of the record
  • An equitable owner
  • A tenant responsible for paying all or part of the real estate taxes/all or part of the use and occupancy taxes
  • A mortgagee in possession

What Should My Appeal Include?

As you continue to file your appeal, make sure that you include all necessary information that will be relevant in disputing your Philadelphia property value. Some important documents to include in your appeal that will also be included in your hearing include:

  • Photographs of your property
  • Comparative values of similar property values in your area
  • Appraisal documentation that contradicts the city of Philadelphia’s appraisal

Step 3: You Will Receive Your Hearing Date and Time

After your appeal is processed, the BRT will pick a date and time for your appeal hearing. The hearing is the last step in disputing your Philadelphia property appraisal, so you must make sure to prepare accordingly by bringing the right documents and expert witnesses. 

What Documents Should I Bring to my Hearing?

The documents that you bring to your hearing should be the same ones that you included in your appeal (see above). However, if you did not include them in your appeal, be sure to bring them to your hearing as they are what will determine whether or not your property value is changed or not.

Can I Use Expert Witnesses in my Hearing?

Yes, in fact, expert witnesses are essential during the hearing. Expert witnesses should be a real estate lawyer/developer or an expert from a property appraising company.  Expert witnesses may be able to help your case as long as they have quality knowledge of the value of your property. 

If you are going to use an expert witness in your hearing, you will need to notify the BTR at least 20 days before your hearing and provide the following information:

  • The expert’s qualifications
  • The expert’s proof of compliance with the Pennsylvania Real Estate Licensing Act
  • 12 copies of the expert’s report containing his or her conclusions

Home Appraising Group is Here For You

If you require an expert witness to reevaluate the value of your property, Home Appraising Group is here for you. Our team of expert appraisers will do all they can to help you get the right appraisal value of your property. Contact Home Appraising Group today at (215) 531-7979 to find out how we can help you. 

Dispute Your Philadelphia Property Taxes Now

After completing these steps, the value of your property will be determined. The entire process of appealing your Philadelphia property value can be a long and demanding process, so it’s important that you be as proactive as possible. If you think that your estimated Philadelphia property value is incorrect, consider disputing it and getting a second opinion. At Home Appraising Group, we will be happy to help you, call us today to start your Philadelphia property value dispute.