Bucks County Raises Taxes

December 22, 2011:  In an article posted today on the www.phillyburbs.com  website, Staff Writer, Gary Weckselblatt, writes about the decision of the Bucks County Commissioners to increase taxes by 5.7%.  In return, the county plans to spend slightly less in the new year than it did in 2010.

The increase is the first in six years.  The county spending plan of $461.8 million will be funded by upping the county millage rate to 1.258.  Also, implemented will be a hiring freeze and potential staff reductions.

While the increase is not as drastic as those implemented in neighboring counties, it will cause some residents to seek relief.  Given that property values in Bucks County are stable at best (declining in some areas), many property owners will likely turn to appealing their property tax assessments as a way to stave off the increases and, perhaps, lower their tax burden.

The Up Side…this is a good time for property owners to explore assessment reduction.  Reducing your assessment will effectively reduce your tax burden. 

When appealing your assessment it is imperative to have the best sales data available, to support your case.  Having an appraisal of your property completed by a State Certified Real Estate Appraiser to submit with your appeal will give property owners the best chances of winning a reduction. 

Property owners may also want to hire a tax assessment reduction firm to represent their appeal.  There are many firms that specialize in assessment appeals as well as a number of attorneys that make it part of their overall practice.  Typically, they will take care of filing the appeal and will represent you at the hearing.  They will usually work on a contingency basis, meaning they will not receive a fee unless you get a reduction.  Their fees are usually a percentage of the reduction.  When looking for someone to represent you, be sure that they have experience with tax appeals and that they have a proven record of success in front of your particular Board of Assessment.  All the Boards are different and knowing that your representative has had success in front of your Board will only make your case stronger.

To read the full article, visit the following link.  Bucks Spends Less, You Pay More

If you have any questions about tax assessment appeal or property value , please feel free to call or email The Coyle Group at 215.836.5500 or appraisals@coyleappraisals.com 

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