Taxes Could Go Down for Many Dormont Residents

Documents for the 2013 Dormont Borough Budget are now available and because of property reassessments, the tax rate is going down.

Monday’s Dormont Council meeting agenda includes a vote on the borough’s 2013 budget—and the budget includes a lower property tax millage rate for residents.

Council plans to lower the tax rate from 14 mills to 9.1 mills. This means that for most residents, taxes are going down—taxes on a $100,000 house would fall from $1,400 to $910.

The adjustment accounts for higher assessment rates on borough properties. As a result of Allegheny County’s reassessment process, assessed property values in Dormont went up about 52 percent.

After real estate reassessments are done, municipalities are required by the state to adjust millage rates so that there is not higher than a 5 percent increase in tax revenues. However, Dormont’s revenue increase will be only 1.85 percent.

Borough manager Jeff Naftal said there was no reason to require residents to pay a higher-than-necessary tax rate. The revenue increase adjusted for will allow the borough to fund a number of other budget items, including the addition of one new police officer, one new street department employee, one new parks department employee, and the new positions of clerk supervisor, code enforcement officer and borough engineer.

The budget also includes a road program for 2013 that will allow for the complete reconstruction on one road, the resurfacing of nine other roads, and work on two or three alleys.

Funding also will be provided for a sanitary sewer and maintenance program, specialized engineering services and traffic calming.

Budget documents are attached to this article as PDF documents. One of those documents is a list of suggested capital improvements. Although the list includes everything suggested, only some of those items will be selected to pursue in 2013.

Dormont Council will meet Monday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. at Dormont Municipal Center for its regular meeting.

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John Spoon November 30, 2012 at 02:57 PM
I'm glad the borough is doing something to help balance out the insane reassessment. My property went up 59% and we were seriously wondering if we could afford to stay
Joseph November 30, 2012 at 03:26 PM
"Council plans to lower the tax rate from 14 mills to 9.1 mills. This means that for most residents, taxes are going down—taxes on a $100,000 house would fall from $1,400 to $910." That is a little deceptive. The tax rate may be going down, but taxes are going up for most. If the average increase in home price was 50%, the owner of the $100,000 home was paying $700 in taxes. With the new millage rate and assessment, they will be paying $910 in taxes-- a 29% increase. I guess, that's not that bad compared to my 50% tax increase. Bought a house in Dormont a few years ago... starting to regret it now. P.S. I realize the increase is largely due to the awful assessment (yes, I appealed), but the absurdly high millage rate in Dormont was a contributing factor as well.
Tim November 30, 2012 at 06:10 PM
It's a good thing the value of your home is going up. Somehow people see an assessment increase as a bad thing. It means your property is worth more! The absurdly high millage rate was because the county froze the assessments for as long as they did. Thank you former County Executive Dan the Man. Municipalities that are fully developed, like Dormont, only see their revenue increase as assessments increase or by raising the tax millage. Both mean paying the tax man a little more but the option is not having many of the services that help keep the value of our homes growing instead of shrinking.
Robert November 30, 2012 at 07:16 PM
tax assessments should be rock bottom for that area.
DSA November 30, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Why Bobby?
Bob Dini December 01, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Can someone on Council please answer, have all commercial and residential property reassessment appeals been heard and certified by Allegheny County ? My understanding is they are still behind on the commercial properties having their appeal hearing, let alone a decision. We have some large multi parcel commercial properties in Dormont that will add significant tax dollars to the budget. Many of these properties have changed hands over the last 10 years when Allegheny County was holding and reducing assessments. These properties were far underassessed as compared to current sales history which generates market value.
Jeff December 02, 2012 at 05:39 AM
My house was assessed at $67000 in previous years. For 2013 it went to $114000. So according to the mileages sat and proposed, my taxes will go from $892 to $1105. How in he he'll is that a decrease in taxes. The borough HAS TO DROP THE TAX RATE BY LAW TO PREVENT A WINDFALL EFFECT FROM THE REASSESSMENTS. Haven't you watched the news????? I don't mind the higher assessed value, IF THE REST OF THE STATE USED THE SAME SYSTEM!!!!!!!
Bob Dini December 02, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Great point Jeff on the inequity of the system statewide. It's criminal that Judge Stanton Wettich has repeatedly force fed this reassessment for ONLY Allegheny County. Reassessment is is good thing for all, as the assessed values are "supposed" to reflect market value or least close to market value. The problem is we in Allegheny County are in competition with Washington,Butler, Beaver and Westmoreland Counties where reassessment has been virtually nonexistent in the last 30 years. We have watched as the population has migrated away from Alleg County due in most part to the tax inequity. The important part for Dormont residents to know is that since 2000, the average($76,377) and median($78700) sale price has increased by 59.6 %(Avg 2012 $121942) and 55.17 %(Median 2012 $122125) which has outpaced nearly every Borough and Municiaplity in the South Hills. That benefits us all !
Joseph December 03, 2012 at 04:57 PM
What are the amazing services that caused my home value to more than double in 10 years and land value to triple in 10 years? Taxes don't even cover garbage collection! Services had little to do with it anyway. Assessments were disparate across Dormont. Assessment values were largely dictated by selling price by recently purchased homes. Homes purchased years ago did not see the large increases while homes purchased recently did. Nevertheless, an increase in value is only good if my property can sell for that amount. Say I plan to sell in 10 years, will someone really pay $170,000 (accounting for inflation only) for a 130 year old house, with many stairs, with a small lot, in a school district with declining performance? Spin it however you want, but raising taxes in a down economy is nonsense. There should have at least been a 0% increase in the budget to help offset the increase from the assessments.
Bob Dini December 03, 2012 at 06:15 PM
@ Joseph... I will never advocate raising taxes as a method of securing growth. I am a firm believer that you must cut spending 1st before ever looking to tax increases, whether at the national level(fiscal cliff) or local level with property taxes(millage). None of us in the real estate profession would make a blanket statement on what your residence would sell for or whether your home has increased the in value by the same %'s. The reality is houses that are well updated have sold at much higher rates than ever before, that is indiputable in Dormont Borough. There have been more homes sold over 150K this year than ever before. There are more investors purchasing the less maintained homes, rehabbing them and reselling to 1st time buyers seeking a walking community near Downtown with ability to walk to bars and restaurants, than ever before. The national economic situation has not transferred to the local Dormont Borugh real estate market very much or at all. Any infrastructure improvements Council/Boro Mgr makes will only further help us all. Inflation has increased faster than our local property taxes in Dormont and I welcome that approach to continue the betterment of our streets. Now they need to look into code enforcement, code revisions, increased policing on foot in Business Districts to perpetuate the growth.
Bob Dini December 03, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Assessments will continue to be disparate to those who have recently purchased VS those who have lived in their home for 10,20,30 or more years but reassessing more often would help level that situation over the coming years.


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