Responding to property reassessments, Ravenstahl proposes tax-rate cut
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Mayor Luke Ravenstahl this morning proposed cutting Pittsburgh's property tax rate 30 percent as part of a package to help residents deal with new Allegheny County property assessments.
The mayor's proposal would reduce property tax millage from 10.8 to 7.56 mills. For a house valued at $100,000, taxes would be reduced from $1,080 to $756 this year.
The mayor also proposed increasing the Homestead exemption for owner-occupied properties from $10,000 to $15,000, meaning the $100,000 house would be taxed as an $85,000 house.
In addition, the exemption for the senior tax relief program would increase from 30 percent of the value to 40 percent. Again using the $100,000 house, taxes would be based on a $60,000 value.
The mayor said the proposals will be "revenue neutral," required under Pennsylvania law when a county reassesses properties.
The mayor said the 48 percent increase in city property values as a result of the court-ordered reassessment is a good news-bad news situation because it shows Pittsburgh property values are increasing.
The city opposed the reassessment program, which the state Supreme Court required the county to perform.
"This doesn't mean we're supportive of the process," the mayor said. "We're making the best of a very bad situation here."
Mayoral spokesman Joanna Doven called the mayor's proposals "the best equation that would protect the most property owners."
City Council must approve millage by Jan. 31. Tax bills likely will be mailed by the end of February, a month later than normal.
First Published January 14, 2013 12:10 am