How do I appeal my Philly property assessment?

Taxipedia is answering people’s questions about Philadelphia’s property reassessment. First up: How do property owners appeal their new assessments?

If you think the city of Philadelphia got its new assessment of your house or business wrong, here’s what to do first:  

Ask for an informal review by the city evaluator who assessed your property.

You should get your new assessment in the mail by March 1. This mailing will include a form to request a review.

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You must submit this form by March 31, 2013. Don’t procrastinate. Don’t put the form aside for another day. If you want to dispute your assessment, fill out this form right away.

If you decide to do that, you’ll be able to give the evaluator information about your property that supports your case. The evaluator also may come back to your home for an inspection. The evaluator will then decide whether to adjust your value.

If you’re still not happy afterward, you can formally appeal to the Board of Revision of Taxes (BRT). The BRT says you can appeal if 1) you believe your property is overvalued or undervalued 2) properties throughout your neighborhood are not valued uniformly or 3) your property’s characteristics have been described incorrectly by the city.  

You will be able to access the application for an appeal online by April 1. The deadline for submitting an appeal is Oct. 7, 2013 (with a few exceptions, which can be found on the BRT’s website). You’ll need to send it to The Curtis Building, 601 Walnut Street, Suite 325 East, Philadelphia, PA 19106, or file it there in person.

The BRT will schedule a hearing date for your appeal. You can bring supporting documents and expert witnesses, such as a private evaluator.  

Be forewarned, though, that an appeal will not necessarily lower your assessment. During the process, the city could determine it initially undervalued your property, and then your assessment and tax bill could go up.

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