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Judge OKs Monroeville request to raise property taxes above state limit

| Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, 5:33 p.m.

An Allegheny County Common Pleas judge on Wednesday approved a tax rate hike for Monroeville that exceeds a state anti-windfall provision.

The increased millage will generate about $1.4 million more this year than the 5 percent annual increase in revenue state law allows following a property reassessment. Municipal solicitor Bruce Dice said Monroeville Council's argument was strong because elected officials were faced with two options: either increase millage or reduce municipal services.

He said if residents are unhappy with an increase this year, “The remedy is at the ballot box.”

Council last month agreed to petition Common Pleas Court to allow the municipality to raise its tax rate by an additional 0.547 mills, bringing total millage to 2.431. Judge Judith L.A. Friedman issued the ruling.

The owner of a property assessed at $100,000 will pay $243 in municipal property taxes this year, compared to last year's $220 at the previous millage.

To balance this year's budget, council first raised taxes an additional 0.084 mills this month, plus the 0.547 it sought from the court.

Council is expected to vote on the court-approved increase March 7.

Kyle Lawson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400 or at klawson@tribweb.com.

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