On Monday, May 24, 2021, Pennsylvania’s State Tax Equalization Board (STEB) advised tax appeal practitioners and valuation experts that with the recent passing of two of its three board members, the board is currently without a quorum and, therefore, unable legislatively to conduct business. This means the 2020 ratios used to determine the tax year 2022 implied equalized market values will not be certified until new members are nominated and appointed. The STEB administrative staff advised additional guidance will likely be available after the next scheduled board meeting June 16, 2021.
The STEB website states:
STEB’s primary function is to determine the aggregate market value of taxable real property in each political subdivision and school district throughout Pennsylvania. The market values are certified annually to the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the respective school districts on or before July 1 of each year. These market values are used in a legislative formula that determines the distribution of the state subsidies to each school district.
For commercial property owners in Pennsylvania, the ratios are a crucial factor in determining the implied fair market value for tax appeal decisions to meet the August 1 or September 1 filing deadlines. With the residential real estate markets throughout the commonwealth returning record year-over-year sale prices over the last two years, the underlying equalization ratios are anticipated to drop significantly. The county ratios have an inverse relationship to taxable market values: as the ratios decline, the market values increase. Implied higher market values on already struggling commercial properties create an opportunity for owners to appeal for lower taxable assessments.
Every owner should review their assessed values every year, as any opportunity to reduce expenses increases profit. This is one more reason to contact Ryan’s Philadelphia Property Tax practice for a review of your Pennsylvania assessments.
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