PITTSBURGH – County Council Member John DeFazio introduced a motion at the last General Meeting of County Council supporting State Senator, Wayne Fontana’s Senate Bill 1462. The Bill authorizes Allegheny County Council to eliminate property assessments.
Council Member DeFazio is acting in response to the public outcry generated by the court ordered county-wide assessment by Judge Wettick. The 2013 notices sent out earlier this year have generated much discontent among Allegheny tax payers due to the increase in a majority of property values. This jump in assessed values has threatened to raise property taxes for the citizens of Allegheny County at a time of economic decline due to the court order to evaluate property under a current fair market value approach as opposed to the base-year-value method used for nearly a decade.
If SB 1462 is successful and property assessment is eliminated in Allegheny, the property tax would shift sources to a mix of other options allowing the county, municipalities and school districts to replace the property tax with the following: Earned income and net profits; Personal income tax; Sales and use tax; Fee per square foot on real property; or any tax authorized under the Local Tax Enabling Act. In addition, any increase in a tax currently levied will be capped at a 100% increase.
County Council has referred DeFazio’s motion to The Committee on Government Reform to evaluate these tax alternatives. Council Member DeFazio believes this bill should be supported by Council or in the alternative the people of Allegheny should be able to decide through the referendum process whether or not to eliminate the assessment.
For further information on this issue, contact Council Member John DeFazio at 412-350-6516.
# # #