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North Hills

Some Pine residents could see tax savings in 2019

| Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, 1:33 a.m.

Pine residents have the chance to save some money on their 2019 township taxes, but they’ll need to act quickly to take advantage.

Because of a surplus in the township’s budget, the board voted to return some of that money to qualifying residents via a homestead/farmstead exclusion which allows their homes to be taxed at a lower rate. Residents who qualify for the exclusion could see a decrease of up to $140 in their township taxes next year.

“It’s pretty unique that a township would offer a homestead exclusion,” said Jan Kowalski, the township’s director of finance.

Allegheny County’s Act 50 Homestead/Farmstead exclusion allows residents who own their property and use it as a primary residence to reduce the market value of their homes by $18,000 for county tax purposes.

Under current state law, Kowalski said, the maximum allowed as an exclusion is 50 percent of the median assessed value in the community. In Pine, she said, that value is roughly $292,000, so half of that is $146,000. The Pine Board of Supervisors approved an exclusion of up to $140,000 for residents.

“They decided to go pretty close to the max, and that’s huge,” Kowalski said.

Under the example listed on Pine’s website, a qualifying home valued at $300,000 will be taxed on $160,000 and the tax will be $159.68, a savings of $139.72.

To qualify, residents must apply to Allegheny County. More information is at www.alleghenycounty.us/ real-estate/abatements- exemptions/act-50.aspx or at https://twp.pine.pa.us , scrolling to the bottom and clicking the link to the Allegheny Real Estate Portal under the quick links section.

Residents can check to see if they’ve been approved on the county real estate assessment site at www2.alleghenycounty.us by searching their property by address or parcel number.

The deadline to apply for a county exemption is March 1; however, Kowalski said the township receives its list of qualifying residents from the county in January, and that is the list that will determine who gets the township exemption. She advised any resident who hasn’t yet applied do so as soon as possible.

Once a resident is approved, there is no need to apply for the next year. However, the township exemption will be revisited on an annual basis, and the amount, if offered, could change from year to year, Kowalski said.

Karen Price is a Tribune-Review contributor.

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