Deed Transfer Tax Increase Passes With a Couple of Changes
Pittsburgh City Council approved an increase to its portion of the deed transfer tax, an increase that will take the combined rate to 5% at the start of 2020. In February of 2018 the combined rate in the City will rise one half of a percentage point, taking it to 4.5% from that date until the end of 2019. For a home that would sell for $75,000 in the city limits it would have a deed transfer tax bill of $3,000, $3,375, or $3,750 over the next two year time frame depending on when the sale is executed.
The ordinance as passed notes the changes will become effective when the Mayor signs the ordinance and that if a sale was executed prior to the approval of the ordinance it won’t be affected by the changes.
A new section of the ordinance deals with how to analyze the impact of the two step increase by calling for “a review…twelve years after the effective date of this ordinance”. That means late 2029 or early 2030 for someone to do an analysis under the terms of the ordinance (that does not prevent study of the increase in the interim, just that the City Council or the City Administration would probably not accept official findings until that point). Who knows why a twelve year time frame was selected (it has been just over twelve years since the last time the tax was increased, so that could be part of it) or if the other bodies that levy a deed transfer tax (state and school district) change their rates in the next decade or so, possibly muddying the impact of the City’s hike.