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Carl, Home Buyer in Philadelphia, PA

Help with a tax assessment challenge.

Asked by Carl, Philadelphia, PA Fri Oct 21, 2011

I'm appealing the assessment on a vacant lot that I own in Edwardsville. The lot is less than 4000 square feet and the county has it appraised at 25K. There is no way in the world this lot is worth 25K and they are killing me with the yearly taxes on it. At this assessment, they are saying my lot is worth about $6.50 per square foot. There are other lots in Edwardsville for sale now and in the area and they all are selling for about $1.30 to $1.50 per square foot or land and most of these lots are in better neighbor hoods than my lot.

The problem I have is that there has not been any recent vacant lot sales in Edwardsville. The only thing I have going for me is that you can purchase land a lot cheaper than my property. Do you think this will suffice for the appeals board?

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Carl, an appraisal is the only way to go. However, you mention lots selling for 1.30 to 1.50 per sq foot, yet then mention there have not been any recent sales....without sales, where are you getting the sq foot price?
In any case, I wish you good luck in your challenge!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 22, 2011
Here in PA you must have an appraisal done to have any chance of winning that appeal! A BPO does not cut it and a BPO is in fact illegal here in PA.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 21, 2011
A Broker's Price Opinion and appraisal could help however I am assuming that since you know that there are no solds on lots in your area that you might have already spoken to a real estate agent. An appraiser might have the same problem and have to go out of the area. As you said, if you go into more upperscale areas that the values are higher.
You might want to see if there are any homes in your area that have sold and then look at their tax assessment. The assessment is usually broken down with the land separate from improvements (house) and see how that was assessed.
If you contact an appraiser, he would check to see if there were any private sales and not just those through a multiple list system.You might not be getting all the information to help you with appealing the assessment so it would be in your interest to contact a professional that is knowledgeable of your area
. Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 21, 2011
You should have an appraisal to present to the appeals board.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 21, 2011
Carl you should either contact a local Realtor you may have worked with before for a Broker Price Opinion to submit with your appeal or may have to hire a licensed appraiser. The appeal is going to want proof of value in teh form of one of these reports not just your word. Make sure you file the directions and time table on the appeal form, Good luck
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 21, 2011
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