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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: January 22, 2019 09:03 AM
From: Senator Jay Costa
To: All Senate members
Subject: Longtime Owner Occupant Tax Exemption Program (LOOP)
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation that will allow Pittsburgh the option of enacting a Longtime Owner Occupant Program (LOOP) to help homeowners better manage property taxes in neighborhoods experiencing rapid change due to economic growth.

The First and Second Class County Property Tax Relief Act was passed in 1988. It permits for Allegheny County municipalities to provide for a LOOP program, but the county must adopt an ordinance of its own to authorize municipalities to adopt their own programs. Allegheny County has no such ordinance in effect due to a legal challenge and adopting revised language that works for 130 unique municipalities has proven difficult, so Pittsburgh is seeking its own authority to meet its changing conditions and needs.

LOOP will allow for Pittsburgh to design a property tax relief plan based on years of home ownership and increases in property taxes due to property value increases. The City would be permitted to exempt or defer the property tax increases of longtime owner occupants in the neighborhoods most impacted by development. Only those increases in property taxes for longtime owner occupants that can be determined to be generated from the development pressure occurring in the targeted neighborhoods would be subject to deferral or exemption.

As Pittsburgh experiences an improved economy, increased investment, and positive development in many of its neighborhoods, longtime owner occupants have been and will continue to be put at risk of being forced out of their homes due to rapid increases in property taxes. Rising living costs and constantly increasing tax burdens in areas where real property values have risen markedly because of development activities are pushing long time residents out of the homes they have worked their entire lives to own and age in. Providing relief from these increases will help stabilize property tax bills, home ownership, and communities.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB387