Share This Page

Pittsburgh homeowners would see taxes decrease under new plan

| Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 11:45 a.m.

About 14,000 Pittsburgh homeowners would be affected by a cut in their property tax bills starting in 2015 under legislation proposed to City Council on Tuesday.

Councilman Ricky Burgess of North Point Breeze introduced a measure that would use $7.5 million of about $20 million that Pittsburgh receives each year from the Allegheny County Regional Asset District sales tax to offset the property tax cut. The allocation is separate from a portion of the RAD money that funds libraries, parks and stadiums.

Burgess said the city has been using the $7.5 million to pay off $60 million in bonds the Urban Redevelopment Authority borrowed for economic development projects.

“I believe homeowners in Pittsburgh are overtaxed,” Burgess said. “I am of the belief that all of it should be used for property tax relief.”

However, the URA's acting executive director, Robert Rubinstein, said he would argue that the city borrow more money by issuing bonds. He said URA uses the $60 million Pittsburgh Development Fund to provide loans for projects such as the SouthSide Works, Pittsburgh Technology Center and Crawford Square homes in the Hill District.

The authority could spur development deeper into city neighborhoods with additional funds, he said.

Burgess would use part of the $7.5 million to roll back taxes to 2012 levels for city residents whose tax bills increased this year because of the Allegheny County reassessment. Eligible residents would include those who have owned and lived in their homes for at least 10 years. Those who have owned and lived in their homes for at least five years and received government assistance to purchase them also would be eligible.

An estimated 14,269 residents would be affected by an average $215 decrease in city real estate taxes in the first year, Burgess said. He estimates the total cost in 2015 at $3.1 million.

Bob Bauder is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-765-2312 or bbauder@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.