JULY 2013



Michael B. Murray, Jr., Esq., has brought over fifteen years of diverse business law experience, including Real Estate, Municipal Law, Contracts and Project Management, with particular emphasis in Zoning and Land Use matters, to O’Donnell Weiss and Mattei to Co-Chair the firms growing Regional Zoning and Land Use Practice Group.

In his years of real estate and land use practice, Mike has represented developers, land owners, telecommunications companies and other applicants in every phase of obtaining project approvals from Municipal, County, State and Federal agencies. Mr. Murray has also served as a solicitor for municipalities, municipal authorities and zoning hearing boards. This public sector expertise promotes development of strong relationships with elected and appointed officials and brings a practical approach to cut through "red tape" and think "outside the box" to solve complicated issues and obtain project approvals.

Mike currently resides in North Coventry Township with his wife and three sons. He is actively involved in local youth sports organizations, charitable organizations and State and local politics.

Phone: 610-323-2800
Fax: 610-718-1365
Email: mmurray@owmlaw.com

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The material in this publication was created as of the date set forth above and is based on laws, court decisions, administrative rulings and congressional materials that existed at that time, and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinions on specific facts. The information in this publication is not intended to create, and the transmission and receipt of it does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship.

Tax Assessment Appeals –2013 Update

Hopefully by now you have watched our July episode of Legal Talk on PCTV or on our website (www.owmlaw.com/legal_talk/legal_talk.php?videoname=2013June) where I explain how your property has been assessed and how your real estate taxes are based on this assessment. Also during the episode, I explain how it is important for you to ensure that your property is properly assessed, otherwise you may unnecessarily be paying hundreds and even thousands of dollars more annually than you should on your real estate taxes.

It is your legal right to challenge the value the county has placed on your property, but it is up to you to avail yourself of this opportunity if you think you have been unfairly assessed.

The Tax Equalization Division (TED) (formerly PA State Tax Equalization Board (STEB)) was established by the General Assembly in Act 447 PL 1046, 1947, to compensate for the lack of assessment uniformity statewide in distributing school subsidies. The primary function of the Board is to determine annually the aggregate market value of taxable real estate property in each political subdivision and school district throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Board also establishes a common level ratio of assessed value to market value for each county (CLR).

The CLRs for the 2014 tax year have just been released. Contact me and I can help you determine if the application of the new CLR will make it worthwhile for you to appeal your assessment. When an assessment of your property is not accurate, it is not based on the true fair market value of your property, the result is quite often that you are paying significantly more in real estate taxes then you should be paying.

Counties limit the time when you can file an Annual Tax Assessment Appeal. The annual appeal period begins May 1 and runs until August 1 in Chester, Montgomery, Delaware, Bucks and Lancaster Counties and August 15 in Berks County. If you choose to appeal your tax assessment, there are normally no intrusive county inspections of your property, and your tax rate could be significantly lowered for the 2014 tax year and every year thereafter. Our office will use comparable property values and advise you to obtain an appraisal to argue for an adjustment to your home’s value on your behalf. We have helped many of our neighbors to do the same.

Since our office will handle all of the details with the County Board of Assessments, the process requires very little of your time. If you would care to discuss your particular real estate tax assessment in detail, please call me at (610) 323-2800 or email me at mmurray@owmlaw.com. Also, please watch OWM's Legal Talk program regarding Property Tax Assessment Appeals which will run during the months of June and July 2013 on PCTV, Tuesdays at 8:30 on Channel 28, and Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. on Channel 98, or on our website here.

Upcoming Events

David A. Megay, Esq. speaking at SCORE Business Planning Seminars on 9/9/13 and 11/4/13 (contact SCORE at 610-327-2673).

OWM Law sponsoring First Friday celebration in Phoenixville on 8/2/13, 9/6/13 and 10/4/13.

Watch Legal Talk, brought to you by OWM, on PCTV, Tuesdays at 8:30 on Channel 28, and Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. on Channel 98, or on our website at www.owmlaw.com/legal_talk/legal_talk.php.

Read Legal Ease every first and third Sunday in the Pottstown Mercury.

O'Donnell,Weiss & Mattei, P.C.

41 E. High Street
Pottstown, PA 19464
Fax: 610-323-2845

347 Bridge Street, Suite 200
Phoenixville, PA 19460
Fax: 610-917-9348