The process is relatively simple. At a brief hearing the property owner has the opportunity to present such information as recent appraisals or recent sales documentation for sales of similar homes in their area. The property owner may also present other information that may have an impact on the value of the property.
The Board of Assessment Appeals requests that the property owner provide photographs (front and rear) of the dwelling or commercial property. The photographs should be recent within the last six months and are to include any recent physical changes to the exterior of the property. Failure to bring these photographs on your appeal date may result in an unnecessary delay in processing the appeal. Your assistance is anticipated and appreciated.
The property owner is requested to attend but if unable to do so, may send someone to provide the representation with a letter of authorization. If a property owner is unable to attend for medical reasons, the Board will make special accommodations. If the property is owned jointly by more than one person it is not necessary that all the owners appear at the hearing.
Based upon the documentation provided by the property owner, the Board will determine a fair market value for the property. The Board will then by statute, apply the appropriate Common Level Ratio (CLR) to the fair market value to arrive at the new assessed value.
NOTE: The CLR is created by the Pa. State Tax Equalization Board (STEB) on an annual basis for each county. The CLR is an average of assessments to sale prices (based upon valid sales activity in Chester County for the prior calendar year). The CLR is applied only when the ratio varies by more than 15% from the 100% predetermined ratio.
The Assessment Office (via the field assessor) can not consider the CLR when computing the assessment. The assessor derives the assessment by gathering the data on the new construction and using the computer assisted mass appraisal model established prior to the last countywide reassessment which was effective for 1998.
For more information on the Common Level Ratio go to STEB. The Board generally renders a decision within 3-4 weeks of the hearing date and notifies the property owner in writing. In the case of annual appeals, no results will be mailed until after August 1.