Pittsburgh made a mistake on 1000’s of tax payments

The Pittsburgh finance department “made a mistake” by not including tax rebates or tax breaks on thousands of tax bills this year, city finance director Douglas Anderson said Thursday.

“The mistake was made,” said Anderson.

This means that several thousand Pittsburgh taxpayers who take advantage of programs like Homestead Exemption or the Allegheny County Senior Tax Relief program may have overpaid their parking tax bills.

The problem has been fixed, officials said. Anderson said it was unknown how many people were billed for more than they owed and paid.

The city has sent out more than 90,000 bills total this year, Anderson said.

“If there was an overcharge, a taxpayer can request a refund or apply it to future taxes,” he said.

Those who do not request a refund will automatically apply the amount they overpaid to future tax bills, he said.

Finance had to send owners separate bills for the new parking tax, which is an additional $ 50 per $ 100,000 of estimated property value.

For a property with a $ 15,000 homestead discount, that would add a $ 7.50 overcharge for parking tax. A property with a tax break of $ 250,000 could have been overridden $ 125.

The finance department will post a notice of the bug on their website, Anderson said. But it wasn’t until Thursday afternoon.

The problem is the latest that the city’s finance department has faced this year. Anderson and other city officials are six to eight weeks behind processing tax payments due to the new parking tax, which has doubled the number of invoices the city is sending out.

“Taxpayers have every right to be upset,” said Douglas Anderson, the city’s chief financial officer. “We’re doing everything we can to solve the problem.”

To request a refund or ask questions about the matter, employees should call the finance department at 412-255-2525, Anderson said.

Tom Davidson is a contributor to Tribune Review. You can contact Tom at 724-226-4715, tdavidson@triblive.com, or on Twitter.

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