Allegheny County Council Passes Property Tax Increase

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It hasn’t happened in 11 years, but it happened Tuesday night.

The Allegheny County Council passed a 21 percent increase in property taxes. The vote went along party lines, 11-4.

The Democrats have a super majority, so even if County Executive Dan Onorato vetoes the bill, they have enough votes to override it.

“It’s never a good thing to raise taxes,” Allegheny County Executive-elect Rich Fitzgerald said.

KDKA’s Ralph Iannotti reports:

He says it’s become the lesser of two evils with the alternative being deep cuts to social services, community college and in what he sees are essential programs.

“We put off some things,” he said. “We deferred maintenance on some of our buildings. We deferred maintenance on some of our roads, some of our bridges. You can only do that for so long and now the bill comes due.”

Fitzgerald has come under fire for supporting the tax increase even though predecessor Dan Onorato held the line for the past 10 years.

KDKA’s Brenda Waters reports:

But although he concedes that he did not trumpet the need for a tax increase during his campaign, he never ruled one out.

“I’ve been saying this for years that unless there are other revenue sources coming in like Marcellus Shale or non-profits – which both of which I support – unless they come in we’re going to have to raise property taxes and that day has kind of come,” Fitzgerald said.

KDKA’s Andy Sheehan reports:

And he says that faced with cuts on the federal and state levels, counties, towns and school boards will soon be following suit.

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  • critter

    Democrats love taxes and giving to the lazy

    • Joe

      REPEAL FITZGERALD!!!!! He is an ass and always has been an ass since he was a kid. I knew him when he was young, he was an ass then and he is an ass now. The last property tax increase was under Roddy (Republican). This tax will drive more people out of Allegheny county. So… in the long run this tax will only hurt the people who can’t get out of Allegheny county. Get out of Allegheny county while you can before the tax increase. and who is going to want to move to Allegheny county with the new tax. We keep electing idiots and hope for the best. Get rid of the county council. Elect a manager for the county and get rid of the blood sucking politicians who do nothing but line their pockets!!!!!!

  • Hotel

    he is one weird looking dude

  • Itoldyaraja

    Bend over here comes the democratic tax machine right up the countys behind

  • Dave

    Blind. That one simple word describes the idiotic Democrats in this state.

  • DJB

    What they could cut is some of those “essential” county workers. We know how hard some of them work.

  • eddiethesnitch

    So HE determines the ONLY — THE ONLY — alternative to a tax increase is to cut social services, community college funds???? Why didn’t you include wheelchairs and meals on wheels if you wanted to garner sympathy??? How about publishing the budget line items and let US decide where we can cut back???

  • A.Bunker

    Can’t EVER cut social services now, can we. Lets raise taxes instead of cutting back some of the freebies and handouts for the ‘losers’. Fitzgerald sux.

  • Timmy

    What did you expect when you elected a democrat, Allegheny County? When will you LEARN???

  • Level Green

    First it was the extra 1% sales tax, then the drink tax, now the property tax increase…..I’m sure this tax will be the last one needed to put Allegheny County on the road to recovery. Thank god for Westmoreland County.

    Wait until he comes up with a plan to save the Port Authority again this summer….

  • Level Playing Field

    Looks like they are forcing everyone out of the County just like they did the city, i will look to move soon.

  • JR

    the email I sent to Mr. Burn tonight, start writing and calling now:

    First, my husband and I are wondering about the tax revenue that was to come from the casinos that was supposed to keep our real estate taxes from going up??????

    Second, I am against any tax increases in this current unpredictable economic state that we all are going through. My husband and I are fortunate enough to both have jobs to support our one daughter and ourselves, however it it getting harder for us to buy any extra non necessity items as we never know what our future may hold in this economy as it is today. I feel that raising taxes just isn’t an economically sound thing to do. If you ever wonder why people are moving out of Allegheny county like birds migrating south only never to return? It is because of the already high taxes that now only seem like they are going to keep going higher and higher, thus forcing more people out of the county and causing you to raise the taxes on us remaining here. (Side note: my husband and I were looking to buy a house in Butler county, however his parents health has kept us within running distance of their home so we can help them whenever needed no matter the weather or what time it is)

    Third, other ways to create revenue without raising property taxes, the hated word CUTS. My husband and I work within a budget, why can’t the county? When we seem to run short on money things get cut out, such as food items, gas use and electric use, going into Pittsburgh and spending money at various places of entertainment, restaurants and stores, because we can’t raise taxes on others to pay for our expenditures. So my suggestions: 1) Pay freezes or pay cuts on all county workers from the top, county executor, all the way down to the janitors, that way you can see what your constituents deal with trying to make it from pay check to pay check, 2) pay more for your benefits that are equal to mine and my husbands, 3) cut unneeded wasteful jobs, like companies do, 4) force retirement, like companies do, 5) force retirees from the county to pay for their own healthcare, (side note: my in-laws are retired and pay for their own healthcare), and 6) quit using tax payer funded vehicles, and any other WASTEFUL spending. I don’t believe for one moment that their is no where to make these cuts. So why should us tax payers suffer because you believe you need more money? My husband and I need more money too, who can we tax?

    Finally, I would like you to know that not only do my husband and I hold down one full time job each, we are volunteer fire fighters and are raising a daughter and don’t have the time or ability to get second jobs to keep paying for these increases in taxes. However, my sister-in-law does has two full time jobs and can barely pay her bills.

    I understand that in these economic times that we all need more money, however we also need more fiscally conservative leaders that are willing to make CUTS NOT RAISE OUR TAXES.

  • Timmy

    Great idea to send a letter, JR, but the law is already passed. The only way to deal with these fools in office is to vote them all out. For the life of me, I can not understand why this city and this county CONTINUE to vote democrat when democrats readily admit they intend to raise taxes. Vote republican for a change!

  • Chris

    This is great news for you if you are a Fitzgerald family member, or for that matter an extended familly member of any Democratic row officer. You will not find 9.5% unemployment ANYWHERE in the families of the elected officials of Allegheny County, and now they’ve been able to guarantee that for another generation with a $50 million annuity coming in to the county year over year in perpetuity.

  • bruceUSA

    Typical nefarious bupkis democrats!!! Three years waiting for a SS increase for us fixed income taxpayers and now this wonderful 21%+ Christmas gift! ! Merry Christmas to “yinz” cause your KILLING ME and my family!!!

    • Rudy Rednose

      Don’t foget to pick up your nuts from the thrashing you got from the Rudolph department,moron

  • Mr. Kite

    What a bunch of crybabies! Leave the county and go live with the hillbillies if you think the grass is greener there. Which of those counties hasn`t raised taxes in the past 11 years?

    • Fee FI FEE

      I for one am not going anywhere, I’ll keep fighting Democoms till their all out of office, and hopefully people like you will move away, claiming that 11 years has gone by without higher property taxes is a crock.
      The democoms have promised the casino’s would prevent this and they lied.

    • bruceUSA

      Hey Mr Kite!!! I don’t see wages going up by leaps and bounds accept maybe in the high end Medical and Tech jobs. How ’bout a 5% or even a 7% increase??? Not a 21% jump.!! Did your property value increase by 21%??? I think / i know not!!! (at least not here in West Mifflin)

      • Mayor of GBD

        less than 2% per year over the 11 year span is not keeping up with the cost of living. Would you have rather seen 30 or 40%?

        On a $100,000 home it’s $100 per year. That’s less than $10 a month. One less pack of cigarettes…or six pack of beer…or bottle of liqour…or movie rental AIN’T GONNA KILL YA!

      • Mr. Kite

        During a span of 11 years,yes it has.

  • Joe

    IMr. Kite also forgets that the surrounding counties have a much lower rate than good old AC. Plus the morons on council turned down UPMC’s borrowing request a few weeks ago that would have netted the county $90,000 immediately and $1.5M over 30 years. Way to go.

  • Karla Wood

    Thank you Rich Fitzgerald. You proudly stand on the fact you never raised property taxes while in county council as an advertisement for County Executive and the people voted for you. NOW, you are not even in office and here go the property taxes. What a jerk you are Rich. Will these people be happy when we are all living under the bridge? We are already getting cuts in service from the boro and county now we are paying more property taxes and god forbid you get behind, here comes the other set of jerks, Jordan tax to TAKE your property with all their ignorant lawyers and inflated costs/fees. Shame on all of you, especially YOU Rich Fitzgerald. You were our rep to county counsel and if anyone ever had the unfortunate experience of even speaking with you personally, knew you were a real condescending jerk then. I actually think Onorato is better….Oh Lord and that is horrible.

  • Mr. Kite

    The surrounding counties have how many museums,zoos,cultural facilities,symphonies,parks,etc.? You get what you pay or sometimes. When Corbett cut funding to the counties and school districts were you people so out of touch as to not think your local taxes and school taxes would not go up?

    • Kite The Spin King

      Kite, you stupid ignorant a$$, don’t be blaming Corbett he didn’t raise taxes Fitzgerald and the commie county dems did..
      Don’t play the spin game DEMOCRATS AND THE LYING FITZGERALD did this.

  • Daniel Hughes

    I sent a email to every member of council stating the fact that I was against the increase. Every Republican responded to me. Not one Democrat on council took the time to respond to my concerns. We need to cut social services and not raise taxes. People who work should not have to suffer for the needs of those that do not unless they are totally disabled. No one should be able to live in public housing for a decade at the expense of the taxpayer unless you are elderly.

  • Mr. Kite

    I wonder if any of those complaining about social services are the same people pretending to be a Christian when there was controversy about the Creche? No room at the Inn?

    • !!!!

      Now you’re spinning Christians kite, I’m glad to inform you that the churches and christian people were FORCED out of providing charity by LARGE GOVERNMENT.
      You can run your lies here but it’s you that needs to get out more and take a good look around.

  • swin

    “When you talk about Democrats, all you get is tax, tax, tax, and spend, spend, spend.”………….Ronald Reagan

    • Ronny St. Pompadour

      Go ahead and glorify Raygun,numbskull,He’s the one who sent our steel industry overseas

  • swin

    Agony County, 1950’s – population in excess of 2 million people – run by 3 county commissioners.

    Agony County 2010’s – population in excess of 1 million people – run by a county executive and 15 councilmen for a total of 16 politicians.

  • Daniel Hughes

    Religion has nothing to do with this property tax increase. This increase is wrong in my personal opinion. Glad I voted for Raja….and this proves that you while you need to listen to what a candidate says you also have to listen to what they are NOT saying. Hopefully reporters will get very specific when asking questions of candidates….And perhaps they should have collected the past due taxes before increasing the taxes on those of us who do pay our tax.

  • Luke R

    Had to pay off the Unions in Social Services for thier vote, He’s all about Saving Money, big liar,should be ashamed of himself. Is there any honest Democates left in City and County Govt.

  • Paul

    This is such a democratic move – if you don’t want to take the bull by the horns cut fat, then just raise taxes and make those who work hard pay for those who don’t care to work. I am so sick and tired of paying for generation welfare recipients. It is not govts responsbility to provide human services like daycare and after school care. Allegheny County has been losing residents by the thousands over the years, so you’d think these rocket scientists would realize this and not raise taxes. My only regret is when I purchased my house, I didn’t go one block further into another county.

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