Reassessment math forever
Some curious story to me today on city of Pittsburgh finances:PG: Pittsburgh property tax revenue fails to reach projections. Trib: Pittsburgh tax revenue off by millions, hike possible
So the story goes that in the current FY/CY 2013, there may be a shortfall in real estate tax collections on the order of $3.5 million, and the story makes it sound like it has something to do with reassessments? Write that number down and keep reading.
In FY2012 (i.e. the previous year before any impact of assessments), the projected revenue for current year real estate taxes was $130.578 million, but the city only collected $126.821 million in the end. So a shortfall of several million that could not have been attributed to reassessment math? (table 10, page 115 of the city's CAFR). My quick math there says the shortfall last year was over $3.75 million, which is actually a bit higher than the projected shortfall in the story today for FY2013. Did anyone think of writing a story like this at the end of FY/CY 2012, let alone with data only from mid-year? Curious.
Anyway, is there a reassessment math story here? or is the story that they expecting to come in coming in closer to the projections than they did the very previous year?
There is technically this issue of delinquent collections which is another line in the budget, but those show even more volatility over the last decade, and even more discrepency with regards to projections, all having nothing to do with reassessments by definition. The point is the discrepency between projections and collections last year is right in line with the numbers in today's story, actually less right now. So the implied causality with reassessments is a more than a stretch. Maybe they were more or less aggressive with collecting delinquent taxes? Maybe there were more or less delinquent taxes to collect upon? We all know there is a lot of new redevelopment of formerly dead parcels going on? Maybe that is the story?