In order to get started, Commonwealth will evaluate the likelihood of success of reducing your property assessment by reviewing your current assessment and recent property sales data for similar properties in your geographic area. Based on that evaluation, we will provide you with an estimated annual tax savings. Assuming Commonwealth recommends that you file an assessment appeal and you agree to hire us, we will begin the process of generating the evidence and application necessary to win your appeal.
Managing your appeal may require hiring an appraiser to prepare an appraisal report. The burden of proof is on the property owner to provide evidence that your property is over-assessed. We almost always suggest obtaining an appraisal report to help meet the property owner’s burden of proof. If an appraisal report is needed, we will recommend an experienced PA certified appraiser. If you have a recent appraisal report (e.g., from a mortgage or refinance), that appraisal report may be used and a new appraisal may not be needed.
Application and Oral Hearing
Each county requires a property owner to file an application to initiate an assessment appeal. Commonwealth will draft the application and timely file it with your county’s assessment office. Most counties require the property owner or the property owner’s representative to attend an oral hearing to present the evidence. We will hire an attorney to attend your oral hearing. James S. McClellan, our in-house attorney, will determine if his law office (McClellan Legal LLC) or if another law office is best suited for maximizing your tax savings. The fee that you pay Commonwealth after a successful appeal includes the attorney’s fee.