"Really Disappointed" - Posted by DeiDei (PA)

Posted by DeiDei (PA) on February 11, 2000 at 17:41:36:

I’d like to thank everyone who replied to my earlier post, but I wanted to clarify that it isn’t the owners name that I’m looking for…but his current address.
Here in PA the Revenue Department (real estate tax information) won’t allow access to those records. Thanks for the tip on Current Status…I’LL TRY HARDER !!

“Really Disappointed” - Posted by DeiDei (PA)

Posted by DeiDei (PA) on February 11, 2000 at 10:39:00:

I went back to City Hall this morning to finish my query for vacant properties / owners current address. What do you know…it’s confidential, they will only tell you how much the taxes are for that property…nothing else. I’m so very disappointed. Any input is always appreciated. Thank you all in advance.

Re: “Really Disappointed” - Posted by Jerry

Posted by Jerry on February 12, 2000 at 23:06:11:

You got someone that is misinformed. All public records are public.

Re: “Really Disappointed” - Posted by Columbus

Posted by Columbus on February 12, 2000 at 02:22:43:

Where in PA are you located? I am in Montgomery county
and all the information is easily available at the county court house. I’ve had the same experience in Bucks, Berks, and Philadelphia counties. The only difference in Philadelphia is that you can only make a few requests at a time, then have to go to the back of the line.

Re: “Really Disappointed” - Posted by Jim IL

Posted by Jim IL on February 11, 2000 at 18:29:03:

DeiDei,
Quick question for you.
When you made the request for info, was it verbal? or in writing?

There is a law known as the “Freedon of Information Act”.
You can request in writing, some places even have forms made up for that, and request to see any government docs.
The only things that should be and will be kept confidential are those records that are part of ongoing litigation, or those “Sensitive” docs that are shieled from the public for “Security” purposes.
And TAX Rolls are NOT “top secret and classified”.

Try the approaches offered below, and if that still does not get them, go ask for a “Freedom if Information Request” and get the info that way.

How do yout think attorneys, reporters, and other nosy people find all this info?

Hope this helps,
Jim IL

Re: “Really Disappointed” - Posted by Rob FL

Posted by Rob FL on February 11, 2000 at 12:20:29:

Ben is probably right. They are probably just being lazy. Call down there a little later and ask similar type questions. Just don’t lead on that you are the same person or they may give you a hard time again. Ask them if they have a website also. Many counties have their tax rolls online.

Some other sources to try:

Octitle.com has some online info.

Experian (formerly TRW Redi) sells tax rolls all over the country. There is free access to their microfiche at my local library. I used to use these prior to 1996 when my tax rolls went on the internet.

Some local title companies might be able to point you in the right direction. Call around and ask.

Happy hunting!

Re: “Really Disappointed” - Posted by Ben

Posted by Ben on February 11, 2000 at 11:38:41:

Here in NJ, the owner’s name is public record, I doubt it is confidential where you are. Sometimes these municipal employees are just too lazy to do anything. Just so I never have to deal with them I use a database called Current Status to get record owner’s names and addresses and other tax and assesment info. They have a website at currentstatus.com but you need to subscribe. They may do some piecemeal work or refer you to a similar company in PA. Don’t give up!

“Freedom of Information Act” - Posted by DeiDei (PA)

Posted by DeiDei (PA) on February 11, 2000 at 19:38:18:

I went in person…TWICE. I got all of the information that was available from their computer, just no current mailing address. Thanks for the tip Jim…I really appreciate it.

Municipal Employees… - Posted by SusanL.–FL

Posted by SusanL.–FL on February 15, 2000 at 08:27:44:

being on the lazy side… You are SO right.


I remember the first time I inquired about property tax liens being sold on the court house steps. The girl looked at me like I had a third eye in the middle of my forehead. No kidding!

She treated the information like it was TOP SECRET! did not want to tell me ANYTHING!

Of course, it made me ALL THE MORE curious! :slight_smile:


When you are just starting out on new ‘subject material’ and don’t know exactly the ‘right’ questions to ask to find out the information you need, they (muni. employees) SURE can make things difficult!