Property tax help coming to senior centers
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl recently announced the next step in the city’s continued effort to provide residents with one-on-one assistance to help keep their taxes low in light of Allegheny County’s property reassessment.
This month, the city’s Real Estate department employees are visiting senior centers to help residents take full advantage of the available property tax relief programs. The schedule, as well as important information and a helpful calculation tool, is available at pittsburghpa.gov/propertytaxassist.
“We will continue to provide one-on-one assistance for property owners, much like we helped thousands of residents successfully fight their appeals,” Mayor Ravenstahl said. “If residents need help filling out tax relief forms, or simply want to be certain that they are receiving all of the tax reductions, please call 3-1-1 to schedule an appointment at one of our senior centers. City employees will be happy to talk with you over the phone or meet with you in person.”
After calling the Mayor’s 311 hotline to schedule an appointment at a nearby senior center, residents can ask questions and receive help filling out the Homestead Exemption and Senior Tax Relief forms to ensure maximum benefit.
The following South Pittsburgh area senior centers will host meetings at 15-minute intervals from 9 to 11 a.m ., with the last meeting ending at 11 a.m.
• February 19, Beechview, 1555 Broadway Ave.
• February 21, Mt. Washington, 122 Virginia Ave.
• February 28, South Side, 12th and Bingham streets.
Residents are required to bring a copy of proof of age or disability and a copy of proof of 2011 income. Acceptable proof includes: 2011 Federal Income Tax Return, including a 2011 Social Security Statement and W-2 form if employed; or a 2011 Pennsylvania Property Tax - Rent Rebate Return.
To qualify for the tax relief programs, residents must meet the following requirements:
• Applicant must have owned and occupied a home, as the principal residence, in Allegheny County for at least ten continuous years.
• Applicant must own and occupy the property as principal residence.
• Owner or spouse must be born before December 31, 1959, or be permanently disabled and over the age of 18.
• Total household income in 2011, including only 50 percent of Social Security and SSI, must be less than $30,000.
Last month, City Council passed Mayor Ravenstahl’s proposed reduced millage rate and tax reduction enhancements to lessen homeowners’ property taxes – the millage rate has been reduced from 10.8 to 7.56 mills; the Homestead Exemption was raised from $10,000 to $15,000; and the Senior Tax Relief was increased from 30 percent to 40 percent.