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Property Tax Deadline Extended Due To Error

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Property owners in Allegheny County have extra time to pay this year's tax bill.

That's because the first round of tax bills printed are wrong, over-charging you. And now, it's the county that will have to pay to fix the problem.

Oops. Call it the $50,000 error.

It's a mistake in calculating the taxes of Allegheny County property owners because of the new court-ordered reassessments and a state law that prohibits windfall taxes.

"That's why the millage went down, but what they forgot to do was they forgot to apply it to the homestead exemption," Heather Heidelbaugh, R-County Councilwoman-at-Large, said.

That meant taxpayers who claim the exemption because their home is their primary residence would overpay $14.40 cents in county taxes.

To correct this, the Fitzgerald administration asked Council on Tuesday to raise the homestead exemption from $15,000 to $18,000, reprint the tax bills and delay the tax due date. Council agreed.

County Treasurer John Weinstein says the original bills were printed but never mailed.

Weinstein: "We're going to reprint those bills and they will be out in the mail by the end of the month."

KDKA's Jon Delano: "You have to reprint them; there's going to be a cost involved?"

Weinstein: "Yes, there is. But the cost of reprinting the bills is less than refunding 350,000 people that would have overpaid by $15. It's about $50,000 to rebill the entire process."

Because of the error, taxpayers now get an extra 30 days to pay -- April 30 for the two percent discount and May 31 for the full taxes owed.

If you don't have the homestead exemption, March 1 is the deadline.

Just go to the County Treasurer's website, download the form, sign it and send it back. And then you'll have $18,000 knocked off your assessed value for purposes of county taxes.

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