Administrative Services

Formal Appeals



 
 
Appeal FAQ's 

Filing an Appeal

The Office of Property Assessments has restructured the process for filing appeals. There are two (2) different types of appeal forms. Please read the following descriptions to determine which form you should use.

  • Annual Assessment Appeal Form

      
    • Use an annual Assessment Appeal Form if you believe the annual assessed property value to be incorrect.  The annual Assessment Appeal Form is available at these locations:
      • On the Property Appeal Forms webpage
      • Third floor of the County Office Building at 542 Forbes Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh, PA 15219
      • Allegheny County Information Center, 10 Courtyard, Allegheny County Courthouse on 436 Grant Street in downtown Pittsburgh, PA 15219
      • All Allegheny County-sponsored libraries - Allegheny County Public Library Locations 
      • All County-operated senior centers
      • Your local municipal office
      • Over the phone for single or multiple appeal forms - by calling the Property Assessments Public Information Line at 412-350-4600

      You can check the Real Estate Web site to confirm receipt of your appeal form.

  • Special Appeal Form

     
      Special Appeal FAQ's 

    Use a Special Appeal Form if you received a notice of assessment change issued by the Office of Property Assessments as a result of an administrative change, interim assessment, tax abatement, tax exemption determination or any other category listed on the form. This form must be received by the Board of Property Assessment Appeals and Review within thirty (30) days from the official mail date on the notice.

    NOTE: A copy of the "Notice of Assessment Change" or " Determination Letter" from the Office of Property Assessments must be attached to the Special Appeal Form or the appeal will not be processed and will be returned.

    Use a Special Appeal Form ONLY if you wish to appeal a:

    • Notice of Assessment Change with 30-day appeal deadline
    • Clean and Green Abatement
    • Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance (LERTA)
    • New Home Construction / Improvements. (Act 202 / Act 42)
    • Interim Assessment
    • Catastrophic Loss
    • Public Utility Realty Tax Act - (PURTA)
    • Tax Exemption
    • Homestead/Farmstead (Act 1 / Act 50)

    The Special Appeal Form is available year-round. It is available at these locations:

    • Third floor of the County Office Building at 542 Forbes Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh, PA 15219
    • On the Property Appeal Forms Web page 
    • Over the phone by calling the Property Assessments Public Information Line at 412-350-4600
     

Please Note:
Annual Assessment Appeal Forms and Special Appeal Forms will not be accepted if they are faxed or electronically submitted. Forms must be mailed or hand delivered to the Appeals Office.
 


 

Tips for Assessment Appeal Hearings

PDF Icon  Print Version 
Posted: 12/29/2009 
 

 

 
Please refer to the Board's Rules for additional information. Nothing contained in these tips is intended to replace or amend Board Rules.

Appeal hearings provide property owners and/or taxing bodies an opportunity to present evidence to challenge the County's certified assessment. Property owners, other interested parties, and the three taxing bodies can present evidence at the hearing. The Board of Property Assessment Appeals and Review (BPAAR) will conduct one hearing per property, regardless of whether more than one party filed an appeal on the parcel. The BPAAR does not advocate for any party's position and conducts its hearings in an impartial manner.  

The parties shall conduct themselves in a professional, respectful manner; the hearings are not confrontational or argumentative. The BPAAR did not assess the property and has no authority over the assessment process, the method for determining taxable value or the amount of taxes imposed by your local taxing body.

The BPAAR will increase, decrease or sustain the assessment based on the evidence of value presented at the hearing. 

Arrival and What to Bring 

Arrive promptly and check in at the registration desk.  Hearings will be conducted as close to the scheduled times as possible but will not be heard earlier than the scheduled time. We ask for your patience. Please bring the following documents:

  • A copy of the Hearing Notice.
  • A signed Authorized Representative form, if appropriate.
  • Specific information demonstrating the property's value.  Please bring three (3) copies of your evidence for distribution to the other parties.  The Hearing Officer retains all evidence presented at the hearing.  Please make copies for your records.

The BPAAR can only consider evidence presented to the Hearing Officer during the hearing.

Property Data 

The Hearing Officer will ask you to verify the property data in the County's assessment records.  Property Record Cards are available at the Public Information Office for a copying fee. The Property Record Card contains more complete information than is available on the County Web site, and you may want to review the Property Record Card prior to the hearing.  If you are unable to obtain the Property Record Card, you will still have the opportunity to discuss property data at the hearing.

Property's Value 

The BPAAR cannot give legal advice and encourages parties to seek expert legal and/or real estate appraisal guidance in preparing and presenting their evidence of value.  

Evidence at the Hearing 

All parties may present any relevant evidence to support opinion of value. Please note that any assessments of comparable properties submitted as evidence must be accompanied by evidence demonstrating that the assessments accurately reflect the properties' values. 

The BPAAR operates under relaxed rules of evidence. Thus, the BPAAR may consider documents prepared by third parties such as photographs, appraisals, estimates, invoices and other evidence relevant to the property's value. The failure, however, to provide live testimony from the appraiser or other third party may affect the weight accorded to the appraisal or other document.   

What to Do if You Can't Attend a Scheduled Hearing 

One postponement per party may be requested. Requests for postponements must be in writing at least 7 days before the scheduled hearing date. Emergency requests also must be made in writing and must be faxed, emailed or hand-delivered to the BPAAR, with contemporaneous notice to all parties. If an appellant fails to attend a scheduled hearing without a timely request for a postponement, the appeal will be classified as withdrawn and the appellant will have no further right to appeal the assessment for the year at issue.


Rules & Regulations of the Board of Property Assessment Appeals and Review

The Board of Property Assessment Appeals and Review has adapted a set of rules pursuant to its authority under Internet Link Allegheny County Home Rule Charter Article X Section 5.

You can view or download the Rules and Regulations Governing Appeals



If You Are Dissatisfied with the Outcome of Your Hearing

Any party may appeal the decision of the Board of Property Assessment Appeals and Review (the "BPAAR") to the Court of Common Pleas, Board of Viewers. An appeal to the Board of Viewers must be made within 30 days of the mailing date indicated on your disposition issued by the BPAAR.

  • Appeals must be filed with the Department of Court Records, Civil/Family Division.
  • There is a NON-REFUNDABLE filing fee of $130.50.

There are three (3) ways to file your appeal:

  1. E-file your appeal on the World Wide Web Icon Civil Docket Access website.

    Payment Methods:  Credit or debit card payments only.

     
  2. Complete the mail-in appeal form: 
    PDF Icon  Mail-In Form to Appeal Decision of BPAAR  

    Payment Methods:  Business checks or money orders are accepted.  Personal checks are NOT accepted.  Checks or money orders should be made payable to Allegheny County Department of Court Records. 

     
  3. Come into our office at (complete the walk-in appeal form):
    Department of Court Records,
    Civil/Family Division
    414 Grant Street
    1st Floor, City-County Building
    Pittsburgh PA  15219
    PDF Icon  Walk-In Form to Appeal Decision of BPAAR 
          (For a speedier visit to our office, complete the walk-in appeal form in advance.)

    Payment Methods:  Cash, business checks or money orders are accepted.  Personal checks are NOT accepted.  Checks or money orders should be made payable to Allegheny County Department of Court Records.
     

If you have questions about the filing procedure, please contact the Department of Court Records, Civil/Family Division, at 412-350-4200.