Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

Legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus.

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The Premature Millage Increase.

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | November 14, 2011

No. 755

It must have seemed to the Democrats on County Council that the City voters’ willingness to appropriate a quarter mill tax increase for the Carnegie Library signaled a new era when it was okay to raise taxes.  With the election less than a week behind them, they apparently lined up a majority for a one mill County tax increase.  County Executive Elect Rich Fitzgerald, who was in Harrisburg and could have stayed out of the discussion entirely, rushed to endorse the plan. The justification is that many people will be hurt if the budget cuts proposed by current County Executive Onorato are enacted.

Well, maybe so, but nobody can accuse the majority on County Counsel of over-thinking the matter.  Have you forgotten something, Fitzgerald and cohorts?  Like something really important that is about to happen early next year?  Okay, here’s a hint: REASSESSMENT.

Yes, the Reassessment.

Although the numbers are still secret (thanks to a little politically advantageous delay) it doesn’t take a degree in statistics from CMU to figure out that assessed values will increase substantially.  After all, the common level ratio of the median of all of the sales in 2010 to the median of all current assessed values is 1.17.  That means (more or less) that a property currently assessed at a value of $100,000.00 yielded a sales price of $117,000.00 in 2010.

That means that the County Council will be able to reduce the millage next year and balance the budget without reducing services. But then, I’ve spoiled the surprise.







CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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