Comparing Allegheny County and Washington County Values
In November Washington County is slated to certify reassessed property values. When that happens we will have the first “apples to apples” comparison of property values and millage rates for Allegheny County and one of the bordering counties in quite a long time. Butler, Beaver, and Westmoreland Counties will still be utilizing outdated base years (1969, 1982, and 1972, respectively).
Both Allegheny County and Washington County will have recent assessment years (2013 and 2016) and will utilize a 100% pre-determined ratio (meaning market value and assessed value are the same). Allegheny County will presumably still be offering a homestead exemption for County taxes (something Washington County currently does not do) and all school districts in both counties will be offering a homestead exemption via legalized casino gaming and the provisions of Act 1 of 2006 (special session). Three other counties in other parts of Pennsylvania undertook a reassessment in 2013, and we performed an analysis on those counties earlier this year. Millage rates, when determined, will be stated on the same basis in Washington as in Allegheny (since the pre-determined ratio will no longer be less than 100% of a certain year).
Based on Allegheny County’s 2016 certification and the preliminary values outlined in a document published by Washington County, Allegheny County has about 4 times the taxable value than Washington County–$76 billion to $17 billion. Of Washington County’s total, more than half ($8.396 billion) is located in four municipalities–Peters, Cecil, North Strabane, and South Strabane. These municipalities are right over or close to the southern border of Allegheny County and in the Route 19 corridor.