January 15, 2013 | Vol. 73 No. 25

Mayor proposed reducing tax millage rate for city properties

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl yesterday announced the city’s proposed reduced tax millage rate for 2013, and other measures and tax reduction enhancements to lessen homeowners’ property taxes, following Allegheny County’s property reassessment.

The city recently received the final 2012 reassessed real estate file from Allegheny County.

“This has been an extremely difficult and frustrating process for homeowners and small businesses, and we’ve done everything we can to help taxpayers make sense of this ridiculous mess,” Mayor Ravenstahl said. “Through one-on-one appeal assistance and subsidized appraisals, we helped thousands of homeowners lower their tax bills. This next step in this process continues the policy which I have practiced for six straight years in office: we will not raise taxes, and we will go further by returning as much money back to the taxpayers as possible.”

The city’s property tax millage rate will be reduced by 30 percent, in proportion to the total increase in taxable value from 2002 to 2012. During that time, property values increased from $13.6 to $20.2 billion. However when existing tax reductions are taken into account, the taxable value increased from $13.6 to $16.9 billion, bringing the city’s taxable real estate amount to $126.7 million.

The mayor will introduce legislation to City Council this morning proposing the city’s millage rate be reduced from 10.8 to 7.56 mils. Using a real world example, a house valued at $100,000 would go from generating $1,080 in City taxes to $756, a 30 percent tax reduction.

“In addition, we must make sure we are doing everything we can to protect homeowners from being taxed out of their homes, especially our low-income seniors,” Mayor Ravenstahl said.

The mayor’s legislation will propose enhancements to the city’s current tax reduction programs, by increasing the Homestead Exemption by 50 percent and the Senior Tax Relief Credit by 30 percent. The proposed new enhancements will be automatically applied to homeowners who are already enrolled in these programs.

“There still are eligible seniors and homeowners throughout the city who are not aware of these tax relief programs, and it will be our goal to make sure we educate residents on how to lower their tax bills through more one-on-one assistance,” Mayor Ravenstahl said.

For more information on the reassessment and tax relief programs or to request Homestead Exemption or Senior Tax Relief Credit forms, residents are encouraged to call 3-1-1 or visit pittsburghpa.gov/propertytaxassist. In addition, city finance employees will meet one-on-one with residents to help them fill out tax relief forms. Residents must call 3-1-1 to schedule.

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