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Ross Township Proposed 2013 Budget: Lower Tax Rate, Slight Increase in Spending

Property owners may still see a tax increase, because of Allegheny County property reassessments.

Ross Township's interim manager and finance director are proposing a 2013 budget that increases spending by $473,521, or .03-percent, but lowers the real estate millage rate from 3.0 to 2.7 mills.

"This is a .3 mill decrease from 2012 because of the increase in the new Allegheny County assessment values," said Deborah J. Grass, Interim Township Manager, and Roger A. Dunlap, Interim Finance Director, in their budget statement. "In the first year of a countywide reassessment, municipalities are capped by state law at 5-perecent of additional collection from the real estate taxes that were collected from the previous year." 

Grass and Dunlap said property reassessments have significantly changed the taxable value of many properties in the township.

"Taxable real property in the Township for 2013 has a total assessed valuation of $2,621,411,000. This is a significant increase over 2012 when the assessed value was reported as $1,994,947,735," said the budget statement. 

Also included in the budget is a proposed 10-percent increase in sewer fees to help offset the costs of complying with Alcosan's proposed $2.8 billion sewer improvement project which is designed to significantly reduce the 9 billion gallons a year of storm-caused sewage overflows into the region's creeks and rivers.

The commissioners will vote on the proposed budget at their next meeting on Dec. 17.

See the attached .pdf to read the entire Ross Township budget proposal.

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Ross Resident December 06, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Help me with this math. According to the article, they are limited to a 5% increase after a reassessment. If the total valuation of Ross Township properties went up by 31.4% and the tax rates are only decreasing by 10%, by my calculation, that an 18.26% increase in taxes. Last time I checked 18.26 was greater than 5. Am I missing something?
David December 06, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Yes, if you look at their budget document, you will see that they have assumed a collection rate of only 85% when their historical collection rate has been between 97% and 93%. While there may be some validity to assuming a drop off of collections in a reassessment year, that is pretty dramatic.

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