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General Rules

 
RULE 1. Time for Filing
All annual appeals from the assessment of real property must be properly filed with the Dauphin County Board of Assessment Appeals (Board) after June 1st and not later than 4:30 PM, prevailing time, August 1st of each year.  Any appeal received after the filing date, whether or not the same was mailed prior thereto, will be rejected as untimely filed.
 
All assessment appeals filed from a new assessment or revisions of assessment during the course of any particular year must be received within 40 days of the date of the assessment change notice.

RULE 2. Place for Filing
An assessment appeal from the assessment of real property shall be filed with the Dauphin County Board of Assessment Appeals, Administration Building, 2 South 2nd Street, Second Floor, PO Box 1295, Harrisburg, PA  17108-1295.
 
Appeals may be filed by mail subject to limitations set forth in Rule 1.  Assessment appeals may also be filed with the Board in person at the Dauphin County Board of Assessment Appeals office Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM.

RULE 3. Filing and Signing Assessment Appeals
An assessment appeal shall be executed by the owner of the property, an authorized representative of the owner, or a lessee responsible for payment of real estate taxes.  Where the owner is a corporation, the assessment appeal shall be executed by an officer of said corporation stating the title of such officer, or by a duly authorized employee of the corporation, accompanied by verified (see 18 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, § 4904) certification that he or she is authorized to act on behalf of the corporation.  Where a partnership is the owner, a partner shall execute the assessment appeal.  Where a lessee is the appellant, lessee shall submit a copy of the lease showing his or her status.
 

Assessment appeals in Dauphin County are classified in five categories, which are:

  1. Single-Family Residential;
  2. Residential Multi-Family /  Apartment;
  3. Farm;
  4. Commercial / Industrial;
  5. Exempt.
Be careful to obtain and complete the proper assessment appeal form, which applies to the subject property.

RULE 4. FILING FEE
For all assessment appeals filed after June 01, 1997, the appropriate fee must accompany the assessment appeal filing.  The filing fee varies depending upon the type of property for which the assessment is being appealed.  If multiple parcels are being appealed, the fee is due for each parcel.  Failure to include the fee will constitute an improper filing and a hearing will not be scheduled.  See Section E, “Fee Schedule” for the amount of fee to be included with your assessment appeal filing.  NO FEE SHALL BE REFUNDED. 

Rule 5. Authorized Representative
Appearance At Hearing:  The aggrieved party must appear at the appeal hearing before the Board.
Where an authorized representative attends the hearing in lieu of the appellant(s), the representative shall produce a power of attorney executed by the appellant(s), verifying the representative’s authority to appear in order to avoid abandonment of the appeal.  Failure to submit written authorization may result in rejection of the appeal filing.
 
Only Attorneys-at-Law licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania may represent aggrieved parties at the appeal hearing before the Board.  Nothing in this section shall permit the unauthorized practice of law by an individual who is not an Attorney-at-Law.  Unauthorized practice of Law is a Criminal Offense punishable by fines and jail time.  Only a lawyer licensed in Pennsylvania may represent a taxpayer before County Board(s) of Assessment Appeals/Revision or in the Common Pleas Courts. 42 Pa. C.S.A. §2524.  Westmoreland v. Rodgers 693 A.2d 996 (Pa. Cmwlth.1997).  Pennsylvania Bar Association Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee Formal Opinion 98-101.
 
Where the appellant(s) is represented by legal counsel, or by some other authorized representative, the name, address, and telephone number of such counsel or representative shall be provided and, thereafter, all notices shall be sent to such counsel or representative or as directed on the appeal filing.

RULE 6. Class Action Appellant
Where a class action is authorized by statute, the person(s) filing on behalf of the class of persons similarly situated with regard to an assessment, (the appellant(s)) shall attach to the assessment appeal form a list of the members of the class which shall include the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and property identification numbers (i.e. tax parcel number).
 
a) The Board will review the appeal documents to ascertain whether the appellant(s) are acting on behalf of the class of persons identified as similarly situated with regard to the assessment of the properties identified in the class and certify or refuse to certify the appeal as class action.
 
b) If certification is refused, the appeal shall continue by the named appellant(s) alone.
 
c) If certification is approved, the Board shall notify all identified owners that they have been identified as a member of the class and have the right of election to be included as a member of the class.  Within 20 days of the date of notification, a property owner shall file with the Board, in writing, his election to be a member of the class.  Any property owner who fails to file a timely written election to be a member of the class shall be excluded by the Board as a member of the class action.
 
Failure to comply with the above rule may constitute grounds to disqualify the assessment appeal and/or any witness.
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