The final Bridgeville borough council meeting of 2017 was eventful in terms of taxes. In less than an hour, council created altered how it taxes real estate, set new land and building rates, created a homestead exemption, introduced a firefighter tax credit. Council also decided not to raise the sewage rate it charges residents (though you’ll still pay more to ALCOSAN).
TWO DIFFERENT REAL ESTATE TAX RATES
For years, Bridgeville, like most local governments in the region, applied the same tax rate to land as to buildings. In 2017, the borough taxed land and buildings at 5.5 mills each.
Starting next year, Bridgeville will tax buildings at 6.5 mills and land at 10 mills. Creating two different tax rates is an unusual move in Western Pennsylvania, but one that council hopes will encourage the development of Bridgeville’s vacant land and help bolster the borough’s stagnant real estate tax revenues.
The increase is expected to raise an additional $375,000. Previously, Bridgeville was facing a revenue shortfall for 2018.
To ease the pain of the higher real estate tax rate, council also approved a homestead exemption that will allow people whose primary residences are in Bridgeville to subtract $12,000 from their assessments when calculating real estate local taxes. This is similar to the homestead exemptions already in place for county and school taxes.
Altogether, a resident with a $100,000 county real estate assessment would pay approximately $130 more in municipal real estate taxes, according to councilman Joe Verduci, who in November offered the following example:
Building Assessment: $68,800
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 Tax Bill: $759.20 (without Homestead Exemption)
2018 Borough Homestead Exemption Discount -$78
2018 Total Tax: $681.20
JOIN THE FIRE DEPARTMENT, GET A TAX BREAK
Bridgeville’s volunteer firefighters will get a little extra tax relief in the form of a $300 local income tax credit beginning in 2018.
Along with rewarding current firefighters for their service, Bridgeville officials hope that the tax credit encourages more residents to get involved with the department.
Bridgeville’s firefighters respond to approximately 200 calls per year, said chief Bill Chilleo, and that’s in addition to the many hours spent training, maintaining equipment, and raising money to keep the department running.
To be eligible for the tax credit you don’t necessarily have to begin rushing into burning buildings. The department also needs members who can commit to helping out staff department events, assisting with fundraisers, and otherwise lending a hand behind the scenes at the fire house.
For more information about joining the fire department, call 412-221-1171.
SEWAGE IS GETTING MORE EXPENSIVE
When you get your sewage bills next year, you’ll be paying a little more to the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority, but not to the borough of Bridgeville.
ALCOSAN raised its water treatment rate from $6.92 per 1,000 gallons to $7.42 per 1,000 gallons. ALCOSAN’s service charge will also increase by $1.09 per quarter.
Although Bridgeville also charges residents a sewage fee, council did not raise that rate for 2018. It will remain at $6.23 per 1,000 gallons.
|ALCOSAN Rate||$ 6.92 per 1,000 gallons||$ 7.42 per 1,000 gallons|
|Borough Rate||$ 6.23 per 1,000 gallons||$ 6.23 per 1,000 gallons|
|Total||$13.15 per 1,000 gallons||$13.65 per 1,000 gallons|
|ALCOSAN Service Charge||$14.51 per quarter||$15.60 per quarter|