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Clairton School District, U.S. Steel to settle tax appeal litigation

Thursday, March 27, 2014, 2:01 a.m.

Clairton City School District is settling with U.S. Steel on tax appeal litigation prompted by the Allegheny County reassessment.

The school board on Wednesday unanimously authorized the Weiss Burkhardt Kramer law firm to execute documents on the district's behalf as it settles with U.S. Steel on tax-related issues brought to light over the past year.

The district's property tax rate is 75 mills on land and 7 on buildings. Approximately $3 million in owed revenue is billed annually, while $2 million is collected.

U.S. Steel's property taxes accounted for 20.28 percent of that budgeted income, with $545,000 in 2012-13. The total assessed value of 28 U.S. Steel-owned properties in Clairton was $12,461,000 at the time.

That assessment came down to $3,259,000 for 2013-14. And this year, Clairton City schools billed the corporation $130,000 — a difference of $415,000 — that brings in just 2.27 percent of budgeted real estate tax income.

The district sought legal representation to regain lost revenue, and has been confident for some time that a settlement could be reached. U.S. Steel has not commented publicly on the matter.

“U.S. Steel was very cooperative and understood the needs of the district,” school board president Richard Livingston said. “The district also understood the limitations under which the mill is working.”

District business manager Charles Lanna said a settlement has been reached “with information to be determined,” noting the district will be at liberty to discuss details once both parties have signed the agreement.

Jennifer R. Vertullo is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1956, or



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