Lancaster County Assessment Notices are Out…Now What?

June 23, 2017

By now you should have received your final assessment for your home’s value.  After opening the dreaded notice, it likely goes one of two ways – hopefully, the assessment is accurate and it’s no big deal, but if your jaw hit the floor, don’t fret, we are here to help!

Over the past few months we have posted a series of blog articles explaining the reassessments and outlining the process of an appeal.  Now that the time has come, here’s what you need to know in a nutshell.

  1. Final notices were either mailed out June 9 or June 14, which means that you only have until either July 19 or July 24 to get your appeal in. You can find the appeal deadline listed on the assessment.
  1. If you appeal the assessment value within forty days, the appeal application fee is waived. How often can you do stuff like this for free?
  1. You, as the filing party, are responsible for providing proof that your home’s market value is not what they think it is.

If you fail to provide the documentation you need to substantiate your appeal, your appeal will undoubtedly be denied.  No harm, no foul, right?  I mean you didn’t have to pay the $40 appeal fee. Well, chances are that if you had just put some time and effort into researching what you need and gathering enough evidence, you would be enjoying a lower value and tax bill. 

That’s where we come in! We are offering all Lancaster County homeowners an initial consultation for $175.00 to help you decide if it makes sense to file an appeal. We will discuss the likelihood of your success and guide you through the steps.  If you decide to move forward with the appeal, the consultation fee of $175.00 will be applied to a flat fee of $300.00 to complete the initial appeal process. Although this fee includes our attendance at the appeal hearing, it does not include the cost of an appraisal or other incidental expenses.

Appealing your home’s assessment could result in a significant property tax savings for you.  In fact, it’s possible that your first year savings alone may cover the costs of your legal fees.  Considering the next reassessments will likely not occur for 10 years or so, this is a good time to try to lower your tax bill and ensure your assessment is accurate.

Kathleen Krafft Miller is an attorney at Russell, Krafft & Gruber, LLP, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She received her law degree from Widener University and regularly advises homeowners and individuals on legal matters ranging from tax assessment appeals to domestic relations matters and estate planning.