Fifth Judicial District of Pennsylvania
County of Allegheny
Board of Viewers | Procedure

When a party is not satisfied by a decision of the Board of Property Assessment, appeal may be taken to the Court of Common Pleas (Board of Viewers). A dissatisfied party may be one or more of the following; Municipality; School District; Allegheny County; or taxpayer.

Appellant files its appeal with the Department of Court Records pursuant to Rule A502. A PETITION is filed. As a Common Pleas filing, the Petition is complete with a cover sheet, certificate of service and a verification. See Form "Petition" for an example. On the cover sheet, the appealing party must designate the property as "residential" or "commercial." See below for explanation of the distinction.

During a valid appeal - taxes are paid. In accordance with 72 P.A. §5452.11, at the time of eventual hearing, the Board takes jurisdiction over every subsequent year of taxation since the filing of the appeal. That is, every year since the filing of the appeal is at issue. A determination of fair market value and assessment value must be made (either by Board panel or by stipulation) for every year at issue.

Upon filing of the PETITION, the Department of Court Records issues a docket number. In the past, tax assessment appeals were assigned general docket numbers (GD number). Note that - as of 2001 - tax assessment appeal cases are heard as "Board of Viewers" cases and are now assigned BV numbers exclusively. GD numbers are no longer assigned to these cases. The BV system provides more efficiency in locating a case by classification. It also keeps cases on the fast track.

Once the BV number is assigned, Board of Viewers staff members pull the Department of Court Records file. A Board of Viewers file is then created. On the front of the file, the following information is placed; the name of the case; the BV number; petitioner's counsel; property location; board members' names, Conciliation/Hearing date when set. Pertinent information is entered into the computer to allow quick reference thereto.

At this time, the case is entered into tax appeals inventory for assignment to a Masters Panel. On a quarterly basis, tax appeals inventory is distributed amongst the Masters Panels.

Each individual Masters Panel reviews its appeals and schedules them for Conciliation/Hearing. A date schedule is provided to staff, and all parties of interest are provided notice (see notice below for requirements).


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Board of Viewers
811 City-County Building
414 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
412.350.3405 fax
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Hours of Operation
Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.