Electing not to take advantage of a legal provision that would allow borough leaders to collect more in local real estate taxes this year than in the previous, the Whitehall Council has set a local real estate tax rate for 2013 of 4.32 mills, or $432 per year for anyone with a property valued at $100,000 (land and building value combined).
The council made that decision with a unanimous vote at a borough meeting on Wednesday night. The council also unanimously approved Whitehall Borough's 2013 budget.
The 4.32 millage represents a reduction of 1.18 mills from Whitehall's 2012 rate of 5.50. (Click here to calculate your individual taxes based on 2012's millage rate.)
The impetus for drastically lowering the borough's millage rate this year comes from a recent countywide real estate reassessment that has raised the value of most Whitehall properties. And keeping the same local millage rate for 2013 would have resulted in a "windfall" of increased tax revenue for the borough, something that is illegal.
While Allegheny County officials have not finished making decisions on all property value appeals—including ones from Whitehall property owners—the Whitehall Council went ahead with its decision to set a millage based on what borough Manager James E. Leventry said is his administration's "best guess" of what to expect in local tax revenue.
Should an abundance of Whitehall appeals prove to be successful or partially successful, the borough has an estimated $3 million in its fund balance to offset any missed real estate tax revenue.
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