Richland Township Looking at No Tax Increase for 2013

The Board of Supervisors will vote on its $12 million budget on Dec. 19.

Richland Township taxpayers can heave a sigh of relief.

The Board of Supervisors is looking at no tax increase in the township's $12 million budget for 2013.

The current rate is 2.75 mills per thousand dollars assessed value.

The supervisors will vote Dec. 19 to adopt a final budget and tax rate, but Township Manager Dean Bastianini explained that the millage rate will go down once Allegheny County sends final reassessment numbers to the township.

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

"We can adjust the budget after Jan. 1," Bastianini said at the supervisors' meeting Wednesday. "Our drop-dead date is when tax bills go out April 1."

By law, the township cannot make a huge windfall in tax revenue if the reassessed values come in high—the 2013 tax revenue must equal the 2012 revenue.

The supervisors are required to vote to adjust the millage rate down to account for the reassessed values. However, the supervisors are allowed to take a separate vote to increase the rate by up to 5 percent.

The Richland supervisors have a history of not raising taxes, but could decide to raise the millage rate slightly as a safeguard in case the still-to-be-determined assessment appeals come in low.

The initial reassessment statistics showed the average increase in value for real estate in Richland Township is 31 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. Adjusted assessments will be reflected in the final numbers that have not been released.


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