School district requests delay in setting tax rate

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Pittsburgh Public Schools has filed a petition in Allegheny County to push back its deadline to set a new tax rate, saying the county has waited too long to settle on the city’s total assessed value.

Under state law, the district must levy taxes in December. But Allegheny County has held off on certifying an assessed value, an essential part of the district’s tax rate formula. County officials are taking extra care — and extra time — to publish an accurate number, a school district attorney said.

The time crunch leaves little wiggle room for the district’s school board, who will convene its last 2013 meeting on Wednesday. In their petition, district lawyers are asking a judge to push back the deadline to levy taxes to Jan. 31, the same remedy the courts gave last year when the county found itself in the same position.

“We know what the law says, and we don’t want to be in violation of the law,” attorney M. Janet Burkardt said. “If they need another week, please do that. We want the tax bills to be right.”

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