Filing Deadlines 101. What Taxpayers Need to Know About Property Tax Appeal Deadlines Across the Country
By Cheryl A. Kostura, MBA, and Cecilia J. Hyun, Siegel Jennings Co., L.P.A.
As an Ohio property owner, investor, or taxpayer, there is consistency to property tax deadlines. Ohio property taxes are paid one year in arrears, and the filing deadline to contest your assessment will always be March 31st. All 88 counties in Ohio have the same filing deadline. For example, you must contest your 2019 tax year assessment by March 31, 2020. If only it were that straightforward in the rest of the country.
Every state has different property tax filing deadlines. Some states have one deadline to appeal assessments that applies to the whole state, like Ohio. Some states have separate filing deadlines depending if it is a reappraisal year. For example, North and South Carolina reassess every four to eight years depending on the county. During the reappraisal year the taxpayer will receive a proposed assessment notice including a deadline by which to contest their assessment. In the years between, North Carolina’s deadline is March 31st of the current year, while South Carolina’s deadline is January 15th of the following year.
Some states, like Pennsylvania, have separate deadlines for different parts of the state. Except for Allegheny and Philadelphia Counties, Pennsylvania’s filing deadline is August 1st each year. Allegheny’s filing deadline is March 31st and Philadelphia County’s is the first Monday in October. Allegheny County is the only county in Pennsylvania in which the tax year coincides with the calendar year. The remainder of the state files its appeals prior to the tax year, meaning in calendar year 2019 they are filing on tax year 2020. Unlike Ohio, Pennsylvania does not mandate regular reassessment cycles; that responsibility falls to the individual counties.
Much of the country is notice based, meaning you have a certain time frame in which to file your appeal once you have received the proposed tax assessment notice. The deadline can be anywhere from 15 to 90 days from the date on the notice.
Georgia is one state that is notice based. There are 159 counties in the state. Each County Assessor is responsible for sending the notice of proposed assessments to their property owners between April and June. Taxpayers are given 45 days from the notice date in which to file their appeal. In 2020, property owners will be able to contest their 2020 assessments.
Some states drill down even further to the township level to handle property tax assessments. For example, in Illinois, everything is township centric. Within the county, each township Assessor oversees issuing proposed assessment notices. You have 30 days from the date on the assessment notice in which to file your appeal. Cook County has 38 townships which translates to 38 different deadlines. The townships in the other 101 counties vary with their deadlines. Some issue proposed assessment notices all at the same time meaning one deadline, while others are like Cook County with separate deadlines by township. Illinois is filing on tax year 2019 during calendar year 2019; however, the tax bills for the 2019 assessment will not be paid until calendar year 2020.
As this sampling of property tax appeal deadlines shows, having local experts can benefit taxpayers tremendously. Experts are versed in the law and procedures in their jurisdiction. They can also provide guidance to the taxpayers in terms of the local appraisers, assessors, and opposing counsel. With so many variables involved, it is important for taxpayers to have expert knowledge to assist in navigating the complexities of the assessment and appeal process and avoid missing an important deadline.
About Cheryl A. Kostura, MBA, and Cecilia J. Hyun, Siegel Jennings Co., L.P.A.
Cheryl A. Kostura
Cecilia J. Hyun
Cheryl A. Kostura is National Portfolio Manager and Cecilia J. Hyun is a partner at the law firm Siegel Jennings Co, LPA. Headquartered in Cleveland, the firm also has offices in Columbus, Pittsburgh, and Chicago. It is the Ohio and Western Pennsylvania member the American Property Tax Counsel, an affiliation of property tax attorneys throughout the US and Canada. Cheryl can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and Cecilia can be reached at email@example.com.