How to Appeal Your 2023 Philadelphia Tax Assessment
Written by: Alan Nochumson
Every few years, the city of Philadelphia conducts county-wide tax reassessment to determine property values in the city and tax their owners accordingly beginning in the following year. But, as a property owner your property and land can be reassessed at any point in time if the city of Philadelphia’s Office of Property Assessment (OPA) believes that your taxes do not reflect the value of your property.
Since the city’s valuation process is opaque, there is a likelihood that your property’s value is not accurately assessed. When this happens, you may end up paying more than you need to in property taxes in the coming years. In order to avoid paying unfair taxes on your property, you can appeal any new tax assessments to the city of Philadelphia’s Board of Revision of Taxes (BRT), and our team of attorneys will walk you through the process.
What Is a Philadelphia Property Tax Assessment Appeal?
Once you receive a notice of a new property tax assessment on your property, or believe that your existing property tax assessment is inaccurate, you can appeal it with the BRT. This is an opportunity to have your property tax assessment reevaluated so that you can pay a fair property tax that is based on your property’s value.
When you file an appeal, the BRT will look at the documents you provide to reassess your property assessment and the property taxes you will owe. When you appeal the property tax assessment, you can either have your appeal accepted and your property tax assessment changed, or have your appeal rejected.
How Do I Start a Philadelphia Property Tax Assessment Appeal?
If you decide to start the appeal process, you need to have all the necessary documents, which we will go over below. If you did not receive the forms from the OPA to request an appeal of the property tax assessment to the BRT in the mail, you should contact the OPA to request replacement forms.
What Should I Know About Philadelphia Property Tax Assessment Appeals?
Before you start the appeal process with the BRT, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
Prepare your documents
Property tax assessment appeals require a lot of documents, so you will need to have everything in order before you start your appeal. You will need the forms that the OPA sent you with your updated property tax assessment, or you can request new ones. You will also need documents about the property so the city can properly assess its value. This includes an appraisal, which must be professionally performed for properties assessed over $1 million.
Be aware of the risks
Since property tax assessment appeals provide more information to the OPA than they currently have, there is a chance that your property is reassessed at an even higher value. If that happens, you will need to pay more in property taxes than you currently do and there is no chance for the tax rate to decrease. Before filing your appeal, it is important to weigh the risks and know that the process may result in an undesirable outcome.
Know the different processes for different properties
A residential property that you own and live in is different from a commercial property or an investment property, and the OPA assesses properties depending on their use. It is important to know this going into the process, and it can help you decide if you need to call in an attorney if the process is going to be complicated.
No matter when you get your property reassessment, appeals are all due on the same day. Be sure to plan ahead and have your appeal submitted by the first Monday in October to prevent changes in your property taxes for the coming year. If you wait until after that date, your new property assessment will go into effect in the new year.
Find an expert
Property tax assessment appeals are not part of your normal routine. But they are the bread and butter of real estate legal professionals. For appeals, you can help mitigate the risks when you tap expert advice. It is difficult to know what you do not know, so enlisting the help of such an attorney can help you navigate the legal process a little easier.
When it comes to property tax assessment appeals, it is possible to do it on your own. But, when you bring in expert advice, the process and your options are clearer. As attorneys, we are here to help you make sure you only pay fair taxes on your property, whether you are appealing for your own home or an investment property. We can help make the process simple and straightforward, just get in touch with our team today.