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Upper St. Clair again lowers real estate taxes

| Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 5:27 p.m.

Upper St. Clair lowered its real estate tax rate for the second time in four months so a 20 percent jump in property values following the county's reassessments wouldn't create an illegal windfall as prohibited by state law.

The total value of property in Upper St. Clair rose about 20 percent in the court-mandated reassessment that took effect this year, to about $2.03 billion, said Finance Director August Stache.

Because state law prohibits municipalities and school districts from reaping a large benefit from the sudden increase in tax revenue, the commissioners lowered the rate from 3.9 mills to 3.83 mills Monday night.

That would mean a property tax bill of $383 a year on every $100,000 of a property's assessed value.

Tax bills will be mailed on May 1.

Residents whose assessments increased by 20 percent or less would have their taxes stay the same or decrease; those whose assessment rose more than 20 percent would see their taxes go up, Stache said.

“If your assessment went up 15 percent, you'll see a decrease in your taxes; if it went up 25 percent, you'll see about a 5 percent increase in your taxes,” he said.

About $53 million in assessment appeals were still waiting to be decided, but Stache said their outcome should have little effect on the township's $18.82 million budget.

The budget approved by commissioners in December had lowered tax rates by about 15 percent in anticipation of the assessment increase. Monday's vote was the second time the millage was lowered in order to remain revenue-neutral.

Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5625 or msantoni@tribweb.com.

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