So I will say this…. there is surely going to be a paper written after the assessment is over with an evaluation of whether the appeals process decreased the inequities in the assessment results… or if they made the inequities worse.
Why would I even suggest such a thing? If you read the short article on the state of the appeals process, you can parse some interesting factoids. See: Allegheny County pads staff to meet deadline
Yet we know that there is a major effort underway to ‘adjust’ the assessment results with a focus on overassessments in some of the poorer communities in the county. Yet the article is clear that of the informal appeals heard, 43% resulted in a lower assessment by an average reduction of $37,805 for those parcels. Note that number.
Now consider the communities that are thought to be overassessed? The article mentions specifically a focus on places like Braddock, Rankin, Duquesne and Clairton. What are the average assessed values in those municipalities? I’ll bet that it is not the municipalities thought to be overvalued that are getting an average $37.8K reduction in their assessments.
The problem is that I think the public is getting confused with how this is all being reported. The stories about the appeals process is being written about almost completely independently of the story of potential overassessments. People I think are mixing up the two and thinking the appeals are fixing the overassessments in the news when most likely it all works out to be the opposite.