Fitzgerald proposes lower millage rate for Allegheny County

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Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald has proposed a 17 percent drop in the property-tax millage rate for next year from the current 5.69 mills to 4.73 mills.

That number is the first of three tax rates that will determine whether property owners will see their real-estate taxes rise following reassessment.

County, municipal and school district millage rates all are likely to decline in almost every community in the county as the result of higher aggregate property values. Whether taxes on an individual property will rise or fall, however, will depend on how a new assessment compares to the averages for the community.

Consider the case of a home assessed at $100,000 currently and revalued at $120,000 next year. Assuming the property owner qualified for a $15,000 homestead exemption, this year's county tax bill was $484. The 2013 county tax bill would be $497, or $13 higher, if that number is approved by county council.

If the new assessment had risen from $100,000 to $110,000, the 2013 county tax bill would be $449.

Council is scheduled to introduce the new millage rate at its next meeting on Nov. 20. Final action must be taken by the end of the year, but no date has been set for a final vote on the tax rate and the 2013 budgets.

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Len Barcousky: or 412-263-1159.


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