It seems inevitable that Bridgeville property owners will be paying higher real estate taxes in 2018.
The borough is facing a $150,000 budget shortfall, tax revenues have been stagnant for the past few years, and the borough has to help pay for some expensive, but much-needed infrastructure projects, like sewer repairs and traffic improvements.
A budget proposed this week would raise the tax on land to 10 mills and the tax on buildings to 6.5 mills. Currently, both land and buildings are taxed at 5.5 mills.
But borough council may reduce the impact on residents by introducing a homestead exemption that would allow people who living in Bridgeville to subtract $12,000 from their assessments when calculating local taxes.
Altogether, a resident with a $100,000 county real estate assessment would pay approximately $130 more in municipal real estate taxes.
Example Building Assessment: $68,800
Example Land Assessment: $31,200
Total Assessment $100,000
2017 Borough Tax Bill: $550
2018 Borough Building Tax: $447
2018 Borough Land Tax: $312
2018 Total $759.20 (without Homestead Exemption)
2018 Borough Homestead Exemption Discount -$78
TOTAL TAX: $681.20
Not many Allegheny County municipalities tax land at a different rate than buildings, but council hopes that this will help bolster Bridgeville’s tax rate by discouraging landowners from letting their lots sit idle.
“We have a lot of land in Bridgeville Borough that is not being developed,” said councilman Joe Verduci. “This hopefully will encourage some of that land to be developed.”
For Bridgeville’s government, the tax increase would bring in an additional $365,000—a much-needed boost for a borough that is contractually obligated to increase employee wages, federally mandated to pay for sewer repairs, and compelled by residents to find solutions for traffic congestion, pave the roads in the summer, salt the roads in the winter, maintain an effective police force, and otherwise do the things that local government does:
LARGE BOROUGH EXPENSES FROM 2017
- Bower Hill Road Reconstruction $216,000
- Pavement Maintenance Program: $130,000
- Stormwater MS4 Work: $48,000
- Sanitary Sewer Lining, CCTV, and Repairs: $300,000
- Insurance Liability Coverage: $104,690
- Health Insurance Coverage & Workers Comp: $400,000
- Funds Required To Be Transferred For Upcoming Projects: $494,000
PLANS FOR 2018
- Municipal building restoration (inside and out)
- Adaptive street lighting
- Requires storm sewer compliance work
- New police car
- Public works — updated equipment
- Security cameras for community parks
- Task 2 Baldwin Street corridor project
- Chartiers Park comprehensive plan
- Wage increases, per the collective bargaining agreements
- McLaughlin Grant project
- Chartiers Street expansion project
- Washington Avenue bridge widening project
- Continue sanitary sewer lining and repairs
- Install backflow preventers on Baldwin Street
- Pavement maintenance project