Pine Supervisors Approve No Increase in Tax Rate, But There's a Catch

Pine Township's tax rate remains at 1.2 mills.

When it comes to news about real estate taxes in Pine Township, there's good news and confusing news.

First, the good news—no tax increase. 

The Pine Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Monday night to adopt a $12 million budget and set the tax rate at 1.2 mills per thousand dollars of a property's assessed value, the same as it was last year and the year before that and on and on back to 2002.

Now for the confusing news—the township set the rate without knowing what the final reassessed values are. 

"We have to wait to get the new assessments in January (from Allegheny County)," Township Manager Cheryl Fischer told the supervisors. 

The initial reassessment statistics showed the average increase in value for real estate in Pine Township is 29 percent, according to Allegheny County's website for the 2013 court-ordered reassessment.

However, many property owners in Allegheny County challenged their assessments through a hearing process. The adjusted assessments will be reflected in the final numbers that have not been released.

In a cart-before-the-horse scenario, the township is required to adopt a budget and set a tax rate by Dec. 31.

However, the township will not make a huge windfall in tax revenue if the reassessed values come in especially high. By law, it will have to adjust the millage rate to account for the reassessed values.

In Pine's case, the millage rate most likely will need to be lowered so taxes collected in 2013 are equal to the amount collected in 2012. 

Once the township adjusts the millage rate, the supervisors are allowed by law to take a separate vote to increase the rate by up to 5 percent. In Pine, however, the supervisors' track record is not to raise taxes.

The township's tax bills do not go out until April 1, so all of this mostly likely be figured out before you ever get a bill.

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