Issue Summary (Updated May 2012)
Pittsburgh's makeup of taxes has changed significantly as a result of state legislative changes.
What We Know:
According to the City's 2012 budget, its largest source of tax revenue is the property tax. It brings in about $130 million and is expected to rise as a result of the 2013 Countywide reassessment.
The City's next largest source of revenue is the wage tax, which delivers $70 million in revenue. As a result of amendments to state law, the share of distribution in the wage tax between the City and the Pittsburgh Public Schools has shifted without resulting in an overall increase to the rate (3%). That shift in the share will presumably go on unless there is a change to state law.
The City's shift away from gross receipts taxes on business to a more general payroll preparation tax has resulted in the City collecting close to $49 million from that tax for 2012.
The fourth largest tax for the City is the parking tax, which is a small amount just under $48 million. The City has committed a portion of this tax's revenue through the year 2041 to act as an asset for the pension funds.
Even with the legislative changes Pittsburgh has a wide variety of tax sources upon which to draw revenue. The City has been notably quiet in the past few years in petitioning for new sources of taxes since it attempted to create a tuition tax in 2009.