If you are a real estate professional or a property owner, and need to obtain ownership or tax assessment information about a specific property, you can find that type of information by state and county using our “Assessor and Property Tax Records Directory.” Our “Free Public Records Search Directory” is comprised of a variety of public record categories with one of the categories being “Assessor and Property Tax Records.”
What type of information is available? Depending on the state and county, the following information is generally available using our “Assessor Records” website.
• Owner Name – Taxpayer Name (if different).
• Physical Description
• Legal Description
• Sales History
• Ownership Document Numbers
• GIS Maps
• Assessed Value
What does “assessed value” mean? “Assessed value” is the value assigned to each property by a municipality for purposes of collecting property taxes. The assessed value is based on recent sales of comparable properties, physical condition, or changes to the property or neighborhood and other economic factors. The assessed value of a property can be useful for comparison purposes, when comparing two or more properties.
How can you conduct a search? Many counties and cities provide property information online. To conduct a search you will need certain information, such as: owner name, address, parcel number, or account number.
How to research a property. Here is the process for researching a property in Pennsylvania, as an example.
2. Choose a category. On the “Pennsylvania Free Public Records” page, click on “Choose a Public Record Category” and select “Assessor and Property Tax Records.”
3. Choose a county. On the “Pennsylvania Assessor and Property Tax Records” page, select a link under the county where the property is located, such as Allegheny County “Property Search.” The properties can be searched by address or parcel number. Upon entering required data, results including owner name, address, municipality and parcel id will be listed on the page. By clicking on a specific property result, information such as building information, tax information, owner history, an image, comparable sales, and maps will be provided. In Pennsylvania, certain counties provide property tax information through a paid subscription service. Links that require a paid subscription are labelled as a “Paid Search” on the main “Pennsylvania Assessor and Property Tax Records” page.
4. Return to county links. Click on “Return to Results” in the upper right hand corner of the page to return to the prior specific state page “Pennsylvania Assessor and Property Tax Records.” On this page you can choose another property search link.
5. Return to main page. If you’d like to return to our main page for additional searches, you can click either “Home” or “Free Searches” located in the upper left hand corner. Both pages allow you to choose another state or record type to search.
The office responsible for maintaining property tax and assessment records varies by state. In Pennsylvania, property tax and assessment records are maintained by the County Tax Assessor. A link for each County Tax Assessor is provided including any links for online property searches. If the county that you’re researching doesn’t provide online property searches, requests can be made to the County Tax Assessor in person, in writing or by phone.
There are many uses for property tax and assessment information including identifying current and former owners, finding sales history including sales price, determining size of house or property, and viewing property maps. You can research your own property, the property of a client, or a specific house in the neighborhood. No matter what your reason for researching a property, we are confident that you will find our website easy to use and a comprehensive source of information.
If there are other types of public records that you’d like to research, please read our “How to Use Free Public Records Search Directory” blog article for other useful tips. We will be covering other types of national, state and county public record searches in future blog articles.