Taxes on way down in Leet
Leet commissioners plan to lower the municipality's property tax rate this month amid complaints that they failed to compensate for higher property values under the Allegheny County reassessment, the township's solicitor said.
Under state law, officials must reduce millages to not reap a “windfall” of extra tax money after a reassessment. Municipalities around Allegheny County cut their rates for that reason.
“My understanding is that the township is going to be amending its tax rate ordinance,” solicitor Richard Start said.
The 2013 tax rate is 7 mills, tax bills mailed this week showed. That's the same tax rate the township of about 1,600 people used last year.
But the assessed value of property in Leet increased about 39 percent — from $92 million in 2012 to about $128 million in 2013, according to Allegheny County data — so the rate must be lower to keep bills about the same. Some residents complained after receiving bills that jumped hundreds of dollars.
John Mook said he was surprised to see an increase in his bill.
“My county taxes went down,” he said. “They missed the ball in Leet.”
Township officials did not make clear on Thursday how many Leet residents paid their tax bills or whether residents are being turned away from paying bills. Leet Manager Anna Lee Oswald did not return requests for comment.
In nearby Leetsdale, elected officials next week could change the tax rate again. It was 10 mills in 2012, Leetsdale Council President Joe McGurk said.
Council approved a 7.5-mill property tax rate last month, but McGurk said with 56 assessment appeals pending, the “potential decrease in revenue is mind-boggling” for the community of about 1,200 residents. Council could reset the rate to 8 mills.
“This has been a nightmare for me,” he said. McGurk said he expects tax bills to go out later this month.
Start said Leet officials planned to open an escrow account for the surplus.
When asked if he or township commissioners thought they made a mistake by keeping the tax rate the same, Start said: “I don't know that there was an error. When the numbers came out and (residents) looked at them, we thought we would reconsider.”
He said commissioners could lower the tax rate to 5.5 mills. “We can reduce it and still have enough money to fund the budget,” Start said.
Commissioners on Monday are expected to announce they will meet the week of March 18 to consider lowering the millage, Start said.
Bobby Cherry is a staff writer forTrib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Add Bobby Cherry to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
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.
- No federal funds to help enforce Pa. ban on texting by drivers
- Allegheny County Council wants to hike members’ $3K expense accounts
- Defying the odds makes this Thanksgiving particularly poignant
- U.S. Steel to relocate corporate headquarters on former Civic Arena site
- Newsmaker: Christine Pease-Hernandez
- Surgery for man shot by Pittsburgh officer on hold amid legal limbo
- Reading Harry Potter provides clues to brain activity, CMU researchers say
- Brentwood police chief to get nearly $200K as part of settlement agreement with borough
- Rare surgery helps woman beat paralysis
- Girl, 12, rescues 4-year-old sister from burning house in Homestead
- Savings, aesthetics of LED praised, but streetlight conversion could cost Pittsburgh $13M