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Westmoreland County, PA - Assessment Search & Property Tax

Greensburg's Stage Right pulled off auction block, given 1 year to clear up tax-exempt status

Stage Right's Greensburg headquarters was saved from the auction block Tuesday by an order from Westmoreland County Judge Anthony Marsili. The nonprofit theater group owes nearly $50,000 in property taxes on its Third Street building for 2014 and 2015, according to the county Tax Claims Bureau. In August, the county included the building on a list of tax-delinquent properties to be sold at auction Sept. 12. Read more

Westmoreland County school districts lawyer up to reap revenue from property assessment appeals

Monday, April 25, 2016
Two more Westmoreland County school districts have turned to the legal system to bring in more taxes by increasing property assessments. Hempfield Area and Greater Latrobe have filed dozens of appeals with the county Board of Assessment Appeals during the last year. They are following the lead of Greensburg Salem School District, which has pursued a similar strategy since 2007. “These are challenging financial times for all school districts. I think all school districts are looking very closely at how to increase revenues and decrease costs,” said Wayne Wismar, business manager for Hempfield Area. Read more

Westmoreland assessment advice

Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016
The Westmoreland County commissioners' recent decision to permit tax bills to go out based on flawed assessments from the Nixon administration is based on faulty reasoning ( “Westmoreland County has no desire to reassess properties, commissioner says” ). It's based on the fact that less than 2,000 appeals have been filed over the last two years and neutral-revenue laws that result in no additional income to taxing bodies from reassessment. If the commissioners conducted a ratio study on the present assessments, assessment professionals wouldn't be surprised to find 60,000 property owners countywide paying more than they should in taxes. Read more

Delayed reassessment could be 'painful' for Westmoreland County property owners, expert says

Jan. 15, 2016
Senior citizens and retirees who own their homes are the biggest winners from the recent announcement that there would not be a reassessment of property values anytime soon in Westmoreland County. Those who see their income going down while their home price goes up benefit most when there's no reassessment, said Robert Peirce, a Pittsburgh attorney who handled residents' assessment appeals in Allegheny County. Read more

Westmoreland board rejects tax increase, looks to other solutions to flat revenues

Sept. 10, 2015
It's been a decade since the Westmoreland County commissioners increased property taxes, although budget demands have increased while revenues stagnated. And no hikes to the annual levy are planned. The three commissioners, all of whom are up for re-election in November, said the 20.99-mill tax rate likely won't change when the 2016 budget is finalized in December. “I have no desire to raise taxes,” Commissioner Tyler Courtney said. The last time property taxes went up was in 2005 under a previous board of commissioners. Read more

Greensburg Salem School Board anticipates $400K windfall from higher assessments

March 15, 2015
Greensburg Salem School District anticipates a $400,000 windfall from a slew of lawsuits that were filed to raise the assessed value of commercial properties within the district. For the last several years, the district has hired Forest Hills law firm Andrews and Price to look for commercial properties that recently have sold for well above their assessed values. When they find one, the district files an appeal with the Westmoreland County Board of Assessment Appeals, a process that nearly always results in a lawsuit, officials said. The district has filed more than 30 such lawsuits since 2007, and 16 of them are now near a settlement. Read more

Allegheny County real estate tax rates compared

Dec 26, 2014
Trafford, Wilkinsburg and Brentwood borough residents pay the most taxes on a $100,000 home in Allegheny County, with South Versailles Township, Franklin Park and Marshall Township paying the least. Data from the state Department of Community and Economic Development, individual county and municipal websites and the Business Times Guide to Western Pennsylvania Schools was used to gather current millage rates for the 459 municipalities in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties. Read more

Valley School of Ligonier wins tax assessment appeal

Dec. 10, 2014
The Valley School of Ligonier has won a tax assessment appeal for an East Main Street property on the Diamond in Ligonier. The Westmoreland County Tax Assessment Appeals Board agreed with appraiser Gary Hayden's testimony that the fair market value of the building, which the school leases to Citizens Bank and Janney Montgomery Scott, should be $1.35 million. Previously, the implied market value of the property, based on an assessed value of $374,410 multiplied by the Westmoreland County Common Level Ratio of 5.18 percent was $1,939,443.80. Read more

Tax assessment appeals can benefit school districts in Valley

March 23, 2014
Taxpayers taking the road to assessment appeals might be surprised to find school districts traveling with them. It has become fairly routine for business and residential real estate owners to appeal their assessments in order to save on taxes. But school districts dealing with reduced state aid and growing expenses such as pensions also are looking to assessment appeals on properties that aren't yielding their fair share of tax dollars. That's particularly true in Allegheny County, where tax assessments have been a sore subject for decades. Yet, during a time of increasing financial pressures, in at least two of the Alle-Kiski Valley's four counties, appeals by school districts haven't happened for years — or not at all. Read more