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McClellan Legal LLC Estate Planning & Tax Assessment Blog

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Am I Over-Assessed?

How do you know if your property is currently over-assessed?  I talk with property owners that call my office and they often say, “I think I pay too much property tax.”  They often tell me that they think their neighbors that have similar homes are paying much less.  However, due to the seemingly complex ratios and formulas that the taxing authorities use (with very little or no explanation in your property tax bills), a typical property owner simply is unable to accurately evaluate whether their current assessment is fair. 

Without getting into all of the details, which you can find under the “Understanding Values and Rates” menu item on our website, your current assessment is only a percentage of your current fair market value.  In other words, your current assessment should be less than the value that your property would currently appraise.  The reason for the discrepancy is that each county’s assessment values are based on a base year that in nearly all circumstances are earlier in time when compared to the next tax year.  That is, the ratio adjusts for the rise or fall in real estate values since the base year.  In Chester County, that percentage (for the 2013 tax year) is 59%.  In Lancaster County, the percentage is 79%.  

Please call our office and we will be happy to evaluate your current property assessment and provide you with an estimated property tax savings if we determine that you are over-assessed.  Remember, the burden is on the property owner to bring an assessment appeal.  If you fail to appeal, you will continue to pay more than neighbors that have successfully appealed their assessments.  In fact, you will be subsidizing your neighbor’s lower tax bill each year until your act.  




McClellan Legal LLC is located in Kennett Square and serves clients throughout the areas of Avondale, Chadds Ford, Coatesville, Downingtown, Landenberg, Oxford, Phoenixville, Pottstown, West Chester, & West Grove. We also serve the following towns in Lancaster County: Lancaster, Lititz, Strasburg,Millersville, Ephrata, Leola, Manheim, New Holland, Willow Street, Quarryville, Elizabethtown and Mountville.



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113 South Broad Street, Kennett Square, PA 19348
| Phone: 610-444-5552

Estate Planning | Assessment Appeals

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