PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — After getting hit with a 21 percent hike in Allegheny County property taxes this year, the chair of the county council’s Finance Committee says taxes need to go up again next year.
“If we in the county don’t find a way to increase our revenue the lights are going to be turned out here at the courthouse,” Councilman Bill Robinson told KDKA-TV’s political editor Jon Delano.
Councilman Robinson says the recent tax increase wasn’t enough, and he wants another one mill tax hike.
That brought a swift response from a fellow Democrat on council.
“I’m not voting for any tax increases,” Councilman Jim Burn said. “Last year, this tax vote was necessary to keep a safety net, in my opinion, under the most needy resident of Allegheny County. I will not vote for something like that again.”
County executive Rich Fitzgerald also threw cold water on the idea, saying in a statement that he does not support a tax increase.
“I certainly do not support a property tax increase for 2013. We did the first tax increase in 11 years for this year and that was basically adjusting for inflation. We have a hiring freeze in place. I’ve told all county directors to look for savings and for new revenues that do not involve raising taxes.”
Still, Robinson is undeterred.
“I need 10 votes, I have one: mine,” he said. “But I have a lot of time, and that’s why I started so soon putting this proposal out there.”
It takes 10 out of 15 votes on county council to pass any kind of tax increase. And while there may not be the votes now, it is a long time until December when the county council approves a budget for 2013.