Our Most Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Will my taxes return to a higher rate the year after I appeal?
2. Why do I need an appraisal?
The appraisal proves the Fair Market Value of your home. Most County Assessment Boards require an appraisal at the Appeal Hearing.
3. I can’t afford an appraisal.
You can’t afford not too. If you are over-assessed you will end up paying more than your fair share in taxes than you would from going through the appeal process.
4. When will I see the savings?
With an Annual Appeal you will see the savings the year following your appeal, and every year after that. With an Interim Appeal (for New Construction homes) the savings is retroactive to the current year in which you Appeal.
5. Why should I appeal, I am planning on selling my house soon.
Getting your property tax reduced is a great selling point. It adds value to your home because lower taxes makes it more affordable for prospective buyers.
6. My taxes just go up every year, what is the benefit of appealing?
While the Common-Level-Ratio does fluctuate, having a lower Assessment means that you will be taxed at a lower rate.
7. Do I have to attend the hearing?
We will file all the necessary paperwork, prepare the evidence for the hearing, and attend the hearing on your behalf.
8. I am getting ready to pull a permit for an addition/deck etc. should I just wait?
Every County handles permits differently. Give us a call so we can discuss the best way to navigate your appeal.
9. Am I more likely to get a higher assessment next year if I appeal my taxes.
No, in Pennsylvania, that is called “Spot Assessing” and is not permitted.
10. Why should I hire you, I can appeal my taxes on my own.
At Commonwealth Assessment Consulting, we are Pennsylvania’s property tax experts. Our combination of evaluation, customer service, and litigation is unmatched, that is why we have handled thousands of appeals across multiple counties.
11. Do I have to re-do it every year.
While home-owners can file an appeal every year, it is typically not necessary. Give us a call to discuss your specific case.
12. Does the appraisal fee go directly to you?
No. If an appraisal is required, we will recommend appraisers that we trust in your specific area. That fee goes to them to provide an honest Fair Market Value of your home. Their fee is independent of Commonwealth.
13. Why do I have to pay you prior to receiving any savings?
We apply our fee after we get a result for our clients. In Annual Appeals you will see the savings the year after you appeal.
14. My neighbor appealed and they didn’t receive a reduction.
All appeals are independent of each other. Your neighbor might have been assessed differently than you. They could have been ill prepared for the hearing or did not understand the process which led to an unsuccessful appeal.
15. Why hire you over another law firm/company.
16. Am I hurting the school district by appealing my taxes.
We have successfully appealed over a thousand appeal cases. We average a 20% reduction.
17. What is your success rate?
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18. Have you done any appeals in my neighborhood?
We have done appeals in Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, and Chester counties.
19. Can you guarantee a successful result?
We will only recommend an appeal for home-owners who we truly believe are over-assessed.
20. How much time do I have to spend helping with the appeal?
Outside the initial phone call, Commonwealth will handle all aspects of your Appeal. We will file all the necessary paperwork, prepare the evidence for the hearing, and attend the hearing on your behalf.
21. What county do you practice in?
21. How Long is the Process?
Every County has different windows for when you can apply for an Assessment Appeal. Typically these windows start in the Spring and end at the beginning of August. After an application is submitted, County Assessment Boards will take a few weeks to process your application. At that point you will receive a hearing date. A few weeks after the hearing, the county will mail your Assessment Change Notice.