Good news for taxpayers -- but bad news for city government -- out of today's Allegheny County reassessment hearing. The county is going to wait to issue tax bills until the spring (and bridge the gap by borrowing), and the city will be pressured to do the same thing.
Here's my breaking news story from the 8th floor of the City-County Building:
Allegheny County is on track to issue new preliminary property values for 2012 by the end of January and final assessments by April, county manager Jim Flynn said in court this morning.
That means the schedule is a little bit quicker than what the county announced at the last reassessment hearing before Common Pleas Court Judge R. Stanton Wettick Jr. earlier this month. At that session county officials said the final values -- and tax bills -- could be delayed until the middle of the year.
The schedule should mean less confusion for homeowners. Mr. Flynn said the county will wait to issue its 2012 tax bills to property owners until April, and bridge county government's early-year budget gap by borrowing via a tax-anticipation note. A decision will face the city of Pittsburgh and its school district on whether they will follow suit.
Smaller municipalities and school districts typically issue their tax bills in the middle of the year anyway so the April valuations should not affect them.