Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald introduced several new ways to make the 2013 court-ordered reassessments easier for property owners.
The county has created a simplified webpage to better access data on the 2012 base year values, the 2013 court-ordered reassessment values, and get information on when the 2013 market values will be mailed. Additionally, visitors to the site can download formal appeal forms, schedule an informal review or set corrections to property characteristics.
The county is also now allowing submission of property characteristic corrections over the phone at 412-350-4600.
The four Kane Regional Centers in Pittsburgh, Ross Township, Scott Township and McKeesport were added as remote locations for informal reviews, and town hall meetings hosted by Fitzgerald will take place in every County Council District.
Amie Downs, the county's Communications Director, says the first town hall meeting is scheduled for March 1st but they are still finalizing details.
Downs explains that one of the most common mistakes people make is comparing property factors like the number of bathrooms and bedrooms, and suggests looking at things like square footage instead.
"The most common mistake that people make is not comparing their information for their home to homes and properties that are most closely related to theirs," she said.
She also warns about relying on old information.
"This is a 2013 reassessment," Downs said. "An appraisal from 2003 isn't really going to be helpful to [property owners] at this time."
She adds that the county is going to continue to attempt to make the reassessment process easier.
"One of the things we are looking at now is providing a video of what you should expect in informal review or a formal hearing," Downs said. "There's a lot of apprehension as people get ready for those and being able to actually view what one looks like and what happens in one, we hope that takes away some of that apprehension."