Property Taxes, Assessments, Appeals and Appraisals

June 21, 2013

Do you think you’re paying too much in real estate property taxes?  Other than lobbying your school board, municipal leaders and county commissioners, there is not much you can do about the millage rate.  It may be time to review and possibly appeal your property assessment. 

Once a year, Lancaster County provides taxpayers the opportunity to challenge their assessment.  The deadline for filing is August 1.  You may need an appraisal to support your argument that your assessment is too high.  The time to get that is now.  Supporting appraisals should be submitted no later than August 15.

See my blog from last year to help you determine whether filing an assessment appeal makes sense for you. Generally, if you can prove that the fair market value of your property is less than 1.27 times your assessment, an appeal has merit.  (Although the common level ratio will change July 1, you can still utilize the 1.27 factor for the purpose of making projections.)

If you have questions, or need to connect with an appraiser who is familiar with the assessment appeal process, please call or email us, but do so soon so that we can get your appeal in under the August 1 deadline.

Christina Hausner is an attorney at Russell, Krafft & Gruber, LLP in Lancaster, PA. She received her law degree from Duquesne University School of Law and practices in a variety of areas.