Property assessments sent to Allegheny north, west suburbs

Reassessment notices should be arriving at the homes of property owners in Allegheny County's west and north suburbs today and Friday.

The numbers are the final ones to be certified as part of the county's $11 million court-ordered reassessment.

The county mailed about 160,000 notices on Wednesday.

The new assessment numbers, which are supposed to reflect current market value, also are available online.

They can be viewed via the "Property Reassessment Information" link on the county website,

"Comparable" properties, which offer residents some guidance on how county assessors arrived at the new values, have not yet been posted online but should be available by Friday, a spokeswoman for county Executive Rich Fitzgerald said.

The release of the final property values will allow computation of the overall, or aggregate, increase in property values across the county. That number and the percentage increase for the county should be available by the end of the week.

Property owners in the west and north have until March 16 to request informal hearings. They and all other county residents have until April 2 to ask for a formal appeal.

Because of delays in completing the reassessment project, the new values for real estate will not be used as the basis for calculating real estate taxes until 2013. That action will give people time to challenge their assessments before they must pay taxes on them.

More than 50,000 property owners have thus far requested informal or formal hearings.

County officials have predicted that the Office of Property Assessment and the separate Board of Property Assessment Appeals will hear as many as 100,000 appeals in the coming year.

County council and Mr. Fitzgerald's office have inaugurated a series of town hall meetings to answer questions about the assessment process and to provide information on how to make both formal and informal appeals.

The next session will be at 7:30 p.m. today in the Bethel Park High School Auditorium, 309 Church Road. Sessions for the north and west suburbs have yet to be scheduled.

First Published 2012-03-07 23:41:57