Property Tax

Gene J. Puskar / AP

The constitutional amendment that Pennsylvania voters approved Tuesday could eventually lead to reductions in the state's heavy dependence on property taxes, but it is only a tiny step in that direction.

The amendment gives the General Assembly the authority to pass a law authorizing local governments to exclude up to the full value of residents' homes that they own from taxation.

The new language does not by itself change anything, however.

Matt Rourke / AP

The constitutional amendment that Pennsylvania voters approved Tuesday could eventually lead to reductions in the state's heavy dependence on property taxes, but it is only a tiny step in that direction.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

When Pennsylvanians go to the polls next Tuesday, they’ll have a rare opportunity to vote to change the state constitution.

Judge Races, Property Tax Issue Go Before Voters Next Month

Oct 9, 2017
Matt Rourke / AP

A year ago, Pennsylvania voters were in the national spotlight and being fed a daily barrage of television ads for close presidential and U.S. Senate races.

Niven Sabherwal / 90.5 WESA

When attorney Joe Froetschel commutes to work on his bicycle, he thinks about how the city operations work and where the money comes from. As he rides through Oakland,  he notices hospitals like UPMC and University of Pittsburgh buildings that dot the neighborhood. He's also surrounded by churches and charities and the Carnegie museums.

State Task Force Working To Change PA's Property Assessment Rules In 2017

Jan 4, 2017
Keystone Crossroads

 

Some counties in Pennsylvania go without updating their property values for decades, far longer than the six-year maximum wait recommended by the International Association of Assessing Officers.

Matt Rourke / AP

 

A survey of Pennsylvania superintendents and school business officials offers a bleak portrait of the state of education in the commonwealth.

Jon Dawson / Flickr

Washington County landowners will begin to receive property reassessment notices Tuesday.

The newly assessed property values, which will take effect next year, are the county’s first since 1981.

When the new assessed values take effect in 2017, some landowners will start to pay more than what they’ve been contributing in taxes. Others will start paying less.

Daveynin / Flickr

City Councilman Dan Gilman wants to change the way Pittsburgh does property assessment appeals, to ensure property owners are taxed fairly -- even at the expense of the city.  

He said the city will target homeowners with an appeal letter within just a month or two of closing on their home, and said the city wins 90 percent of the appeals attempting to increase property taxes. Gilman said, that’s because the city has the expertise, but a homeowner in most cases needs to hire an attorney.

House To Approve Property Tax Relief Plan

May 13, 2015

State House lawmakers are expected to take a final vote Wednesday approving a property tax relief plan similar to what Governor Tom Wolf proposed.

Like the governor’s plan, it would seek higher sales and personal income taxes in order to give Pennsylvanians a break on property taxes. The plan would not target extra relief to cities and poor school districts – something Wolf wants to do.   

The measure attracted Democratic leaders, like caucus whip, Rep. Mike Hanna (D-Clinton), and divided the chamber’s Republican majority.

Flickr user Joseph A

Pittsburgh homeowners who are scrambling to meet a Feb. 10 deadline for early payment of taxes, which entitles them to a 2 percent discount, can breathe easy.

City Councilman Dan Gilman on Tuesday introduced legislation to extend that deadline to Feb. 28.

He said many taxpayers did not receive their bills until Jan. 31, while others have not received them at all yet.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh City Council on Wednesday gave preliminary approval to a bill that would raise property taxes by one-half mill, which works out to about $40 a year for a home worth $100,000.

City Finance Director Paul Leger says the city is currently operating at “bare bones” and that failure to pass the millage increase would put the city in violation of Act 47.

Pittsburgh City Council on Monday introduced four bills related to 2015 property taxes, one of which would raise the tax rate by 0.5 mills to 8.06 mills.

That means the city will collect an additional 50 cents for every $1,000 a piece of real estate is worth.

“For a home worth $100,000, it’s about $40/year,” said Kevin Acklin, chief of staff to Mayor Bill Peduto.

Social Security cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) will no longer disqualify Pennsylvanians from receiving a tax rebate if their annual earnings were pushed over the income ceiling as a result.

The Property Tax and Rent Rebate Program, which gives money to many older and disabled Pennsylvanians on a fixed income, had to adjust to COLAs or else individuals would be unfairly disqualified, according to Pennsylvania Department of Revenue spokeswoman Elizabeth Brassell.

A bill to eliminate school property tax in Pennsylvania was advanced by the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday on a 6-5 vote.

The “Property Tax Independence Act” would replace property taxes by increasing the state income tax from 3.07 percent to 4.34 percent; sales tax would jump from 6 to 7 percent (8 percent in Allegheny County), together generating an estimated $12 billion for public schools annually.

But, Sharon Ward, director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, said the numbers don’t add up.