by Brian Mahany
This story is incredible. As the economy turns sour, many businesses and homeowners have been filing property tax appeals with their local municipality or county. While your house may once have been worth $250,000, in certain areas of the country it’s worth half that. Many taxpayers file appeals after finding that their house is grossly overvalued. So far everything makes sense.
Last week I read an incredible article published online for a state and local taxation professional group. Apparently some cash strapped school districts in Pennsylvania are filing tax appeals to raise assessments on certain properties. Apparently Pennsylvania’s assessment process is quite political (politics with a small “p”) and many properties are undervalued. This has caused some of the recipients of property taxes, mainly the North Penn School District, Central Bucks School district and Delaware County schools to go after individual homeowners and businesses.
Theoretically what is “good for the goose is good for the gander.” We have never heard, however, of a government agency filing appeals against individual property owners, however. Remember, it is the city or county that assessed those taxes in the first place! The tax system is a mess and as revenues dwindle, governments get increasingly desperate for cash.
The author, Brian Mahany, is a tax attorney and partner at Mahany & Ertl, LLC. He concentrates in a wide range of federal and state tax matters including offshore tax reporting requirements and criminal tax investigations. Brian is a former assistant attorney general – tax, Maine’s state revenue commissioner and a criminal tax investigator. He can be contacted by phone at (414) 704-6731 or email at All inquiries are strictly confidential.
Mahany & Ertl, LLC – America’s Tax Lawyers. Offices in Wisconsin, Michigan, Maine & California. Services nationwide.