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No property tax increase in proposed Allegheny County budget

Theresa Clift
| Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, 7:03 p.m.
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, with county councilman Patrick Catena behind him, speaks during a ceremony celebrating the completion of the Sygan Road Low-Volume Road Grant Project at the project site Monday, June 19, 2017.
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, with county councilman Patrick Catena behind him, speaks during a ceremony celebrating the completion of the Sygan Road Low-Volume Road Grant Project at the project site Monday, June 19, 2017.

Allegheny County would again hold the line on property taxes under the proposed budget county Executive Rich Fitzgerald presented to council Tuesday.

“At some point, we'll have to make an adjustment, so we know that'll occur,” Fitzgerald told council, pointing out the county does not perform countywide reassessments each year. “I think it gives folks the confidence there's stability in our real estate taxing system.”

The last county tax increase occurred in 2012.

Some highlights from the proposed budget:

• The county's millage rate would remain 4.73 mills, which means the owner of a $100,000 home would continue to pay $473.

“We want to hold the line on taxes to protect taxpayers and be efficient with their money,” Fitzgerald said.

• The operating budget spending increases 2.8 percent, from $880 million to $905.7 million.

Fitzgerald said the increase was possible without raising taxes because of “robust construction” in the county, as well as increases in sales and drink tax revenue.

• The capital budget of about $106 million, the same as last year's, includes the rehabilitation of the Rachel Carson and Phillip Murray bridges in Downtown Pittsburgh, as well as about 70 other projects.

• The rainy day fund continues to grow, to $46 million. The fund had $44.5 million at the end of the previous year and had $12 million in 2012.

• The parks department plans to add programming and restroom facilities to parks and increase the budget for removing diseased trees.

• The health department plans to increase asbestos compliance investigations by 20 percent, increase lead poisoning outreach and prepare for a new ambient air monitoring site in Lawrenceville, according to the budget document.

• The public works department plans to pave more than 40 miles of road this year.

• The upgrades for Kane Regional Centers are ongoing. The Glen Hazel Geriatric Behavioral Health Unit is planned to open by the end of the year, with full occupancy expected by mid-2018, according to the budget. The renovated McKeesport Memory Care Unit should be completed by end of the year or early next year.

The county will hold public hearings on the budget before the county council votes on adoption later this year.

The budget is available online .

Theresa Clift is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-5669, tclift@tribweb.com or via Twitter @tclift.

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