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Significant Tax Increase Awaits City Property Owners

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Allegheny County Executive-elect Rich Fitzgerald says city residents can expect a massive tax increase in the next few days – all of it tied to new property assessments.

About 130,000 notices go in the mail Tuesday.

If you live in Oakland, expect an average $500 per year tax increase. South Siders could see a $600 bump and Lawrenceville residents might face an $800 to $1,100 increase.

Bill Stanhope loves Pittsburgh, loves Lawrenceville, but hates a reassessment that will cause his taxes to skyrocket.

"I don't see why Allegheny County is singled out it this process," he said. "If there's a reassessment, it should be statewide and it should be – the burden should be spread across the state – not across the people of Allegheny County and the city."

That would be the argument of Fitzgerald.

"Nobody has reality yet because they haven't seen the numbers land in their mail," he said. "And when those numbers land in their mail and they start to figure out what's going to happen to their tax bill, it's going to be very upsetting."

The numbers are driven by a massive increase in housing prices in some city neighborhoods. The most dramatic is in Pittsburgh's first ward which includes Downtown and the Strip where a median home price increased from $25,000 to $272,500 or a 990-percent increase.

In three other wards, including two, three and four, the increases are all over 150 percent, leading to what Fitzgerald describes as a massive tax increase.

"This is a disaster and we are taking taxpayer dollars to fight other taxpayers," he said. "We're not paving one road, we're not fixing one park, we're not fixing one bridge or hiring one police officer to protect us. All of this money is going to be lawyers against lawyers, taxpayer against taxpayer, providing no services at all, just fighting with each other."

According to numbers just released by Real-Stats, a real estate information company, the median home price in the Pittsburgh school district increased by 49 percent in the last 10 years.


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